Did the Markets Touch Records With a Little Help From China?

News of China’s rising imports brought record highs for the Dow and the S&P 500.

After the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) reached an intraday high on Tuesday, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) joined in on Wednesday. New record highs for the Dow and S&P 500 were reached during intraday trading, with the Dow hitting 14,826.66 and the S&P tagging 1,589.07.

Both indices set new record closing highs, as well. The S&P 500 surged 1.22 percent to close at 1587.73 and the Dow advanced 0.88 to finish at 14,802.24. The bulls continued to run as more than 70 percent of the 22 companies that have reported first-quarter earnings so far have beaten analysts’ expectations.

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The Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) skyrocketed 1.84 percent to 2859, and the Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) jumped 1.80 percent to 946.

In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) managed to pull out of the red after a tough morning, rising 0.56 percent to close at $33.83.

On London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange (NYSEARCA:BNO), June futures for Brent crude oil  declined by 50 cents (0.47 percent) to $105.65/bbl.

June gold futures (NYSEARCA:GLD) sank by $27.80 (1.75 percent) to $1,558.90 per ounce.

Transports were in warp drive on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Transportation Index (NYSEARCA:IYT) jumping 1.84 percent.

European stock markets had an outrageously bullish day, with the laggard of the group, the FTSE 100 Index, rising by a relatively humble 1.17 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average charged ahead by 0.75 percent as the yen resumed weakening. The Shanghai Composite Index crept upward by only 0.02 percent to 2,226 (NYSEARCA:FXI), although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index made a more aggressive, 0.75 percent advance to 22,034 (NYSEARCA:EWH)…

A report from nation’s customs bureau boosted global markets with the news that China’s imports jumped by 14.1 percent during March, although exports rose by only 10 percent, falling short of economists’ expectations for an 11.7 percent increase.

Technical indicators point to an overbought market as the S&P 500’s Relative Strength Index has reached 65.62 and is quickly approaching the “overbought” threshold of 70. Its MACD is about to cross above the signal line, which could suggest a possible advance.

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For the day, all sectors finished solidly in positive territory, with energy and materials making the least-impressive gains at 0.56 percent and 0.69 percent, respectively.

Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY):  +1.17 percent

Technology (NYSEARCA:XLK):  +1.76 percent

Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI):  +1.31 percent

Materials (NYSEARCA:XLB):  +0.69 percent

Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE):  +0.56 percent

Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF):  +1.31 percent

Utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU):  +0.81 percent

Health Care (NYSEARCA:XLV):  +1.72 percent

Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP):  +0.80 percent

Bottom line: The stock market rallied on Wednesday at China’s expense as the nation’s 14-percent surge in imports during only one month brought new record highs for the Dow and S&P 500.

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John Nyaradi is the author of The ETF Investing Premium Newsletter.

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