11 Reasons Markets Hit New Records

Dow 12,810 S&P500 1,363 Nasdaq 2,873 Gold 1,556 Oil 113

Markets exploded higher to new multi-year records for two simple reasons. First, earnings announcements have been better than expected. Second, Ben Bernanke et al at the Fed have agreed to continue buying “securities” so long as needed to keep the economy floating along. All that is a long winded rationalization for traders to scream “Risk On!”

Now, for the 11 reasons markets moved this week:

Tuesday

1) Big bellwether stocks rang the register. After beating earnings, 3M (NYSE:MMM) rose 1.95%, Ford (NYSE:F) rose 0.77%, IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) rose 5.83%, United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) rose 0.9%, and Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) popped an incredible 11%. (Don’t Miss: See Why Airline Stocks are Flying Now.) If you love staying in the know during earnings season, join us for our coverage here all day long.

2) Econ data was generally disappointing. Despite a small increase in Consumer Confidence following last month’s big drop, everything else looked weak. The Case-Shiller Housing numbers were seriously horrible considering house prices in Atlanta, Cleveland and Las Vegas are now below values from the year 2000. No, this is not science-fiction. Now check out which city continues to outperform.

3) The Dollar (NYSE:UDN) got beat down. While we’re on the topic of multi-year records, the US Dollar (NYSE:UDN) dropped to three-year lows today. That’s not a great sign considering scary news out of Greece and Spain (NYSE:EWS) didn’t send people the greenback’s way simply as a matter of flying to safety. Let’s see what press conference Ben Bernanke has to say tomorrow.

Wednesday

1) The Fed didn’t disappoint. Let’s be honest: the Fed and Treasury are granting welfare to a very fragile US economy. And today the kids in the welfare line wanted to know one thing: will the subsidies continue? Uncle Ben said they certainly will. So the kids are happy and investors got back to investing their cheap money in the stock market. Don’t Miss all the details in “Fed Open Market Committee: Quantitative Easing 2.5 Beta Launch“.

2) Everybody loves … earnings! The earnings beats just keep on coming. Utilities (NYSE:XLU) did a lot of reporting as Southern Company (NYSE:SO) and Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) beat. Defense (NYSE:PPA) also rolled out a lot of announcements with positive days for General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) and Boeing (NYSE:BA). If you love staying in the know during earnings season, join us for our coverage here all day long.

3) Durable Goods were strong. New orders for Durable Goods rose 2.5% last month — led by transportation equipment (NYSE:XLI), computers (NASDAQ:QQQ), and defense-related products (NYSE:PPA). But it’s a lagging indicator, so don’t go crazy until we see how inflation affects orders this summer. On another economic note, Home Ownership fell again — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Thursday

1) Traders focused on inflation in stocks and less on macro economic data. We started the day with a weak GDP number at 1.8% and a scary move solidly back above 400,000 weekly jobless claims. But yesterday Ben Bernanke told investors not to worry because the Fed Open Market Committee Will Launch Quantitative Easing 2.5.

2) Earnings had one of its weaker days so far, but stocks still rallied. PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) warned about increasing input costs, but that didn’t stop bulls. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) had a great day for Oil & Gas while Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) caught some profit taking. If you love staying in the know during earnings season, join us for our coverage here all day long.

3) Bonus: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares are down on earnings.

Friday

1) Economic data was reasonable. And reasonable is all we need when Bernanke promises to keep buying “securities” so markets can stay in a flow like Derrick Rose. Today we learned consumers had the same confidence as the prior month and Personal Income increased $67 billion. That’s probably enough to keep bulls charging forward in the short term.

2) Earnings rolled down the idle like Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Today was not as action-packed as earlier in the week, but we still saw industrial goliath Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) strut solid earnings, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) follow Exxon’s (NYSE:XOM) incredible quarter, and Merck (NYSE:MRK) deliver double-digit growth of key products. If you love staying in the know during earnings season, join us for our coverage here all day long.

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