Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stocks Continue Relentless Drive Toward New Highs; Mass Hysteria Cited

It's still April, so there's still a possibility that the ongoing rise in stock prices is the result of a wickedly good April Fool's prank. There may be better explanations for the phenomena, but fundamental valuations surely isn't one of them.

With today's close, the Dow Industrials crept back to within a mere 250 points intraday of all-time highs made in May of 2015, which begs the question, "what took it so long?"

Since the second half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 wasn't a recession, nor were there any earth-shattering geopolitical events which could have precluded an incessant rise to new all-time highs, those with more reason than most will just consider the long stalled out "recovery" something of a market hiccup, as opposed to a burp, or something stinky coming from somewhere else on the body of finance.

Surely, the financial world is still functioning at full tilt, with greater fools born into the market without interruption. The manic buying of shares representing companies whose earnings are smaller than last year's suggests a new - or newer - paradigm shift, from simple speculation to outright gambling, naturally, with other people's money, mind you.

Strangely enough, the stocks which have led the charge in the past seven trading days have been banks. The largest, including Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC), all reported last week and were less-than-encouraging, typically with marginal beats on lowered EPS expectations, and lower revenue overall, especially in their trading units.

Not to worry, stocks fell off their highs late in the day, ending with small gains. After all, since today is 4/20, there's incentive to chill out and eat Cheetos.

Wad up, Mon?
S&P 500: 2,102.40, +1.60 (0.08%)
Dow: 18,096.27, +42.67 (0.24%)
NASDAQ: 4,948.13, +7.80 (0.16%)

Crude Oil 43.92 +3.41% Gold 1,244.80 -0.76% EUR/USD 1.1299 -0.50% 10-Yr Bond 1.8540 +3.98% Corn 396.50 +1.80% Copper 2.23 +0.49% Silver 16.99 +0.08% Natural Gas 2.07 -0.81% Russell 2000 1,142.82 +0.23% VIX 13.29 +0.38% BATS 1000 20,682.61 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4339 -0.36% USD/JPY 109.77 +0.44%

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