By Chris Dieterich
Jan. 15, 2014
The S&P 500 index advanced 9.50 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1848.38, narrowly topping Dec. 31’s previous high of 1848.36.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108.08 points, or 0.7%, to 16481.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 31.87 points, or 0.8%, to 4214.88, ending at its highest level in more than 13 years.
After the S&P 500’s blockbuster 30% climb in 2013, a sluggish start to 2014 left some investors scratching their heads. A surprisingly weak December jobs report last Friday spread more doubt and on Monday, the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day decline in months.
But stocks bounced back Tuesday after a strong round of retail-sales data sparked a broad rally. Optimism carried into Wednesday, as upbeat corporate news mixed with positive global economic reports. The S&P 500 is up 1.6% over the past two sessions, erasing all early-year declines.
In the Markets
“The market wasn’t ready to crack,” said Michael Antonelli, an equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird & Co. “Clients have remained steadfast in their equities.”
Technology shares were among the biggest gainers. Apple advanced 2% after Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company’s recent agreement with China Mobile 0941.HK +0.58% helped drive record iPhone sales in China during the first quarter.
Bank of America rallied after the banking giant reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analyst estimates amid improving credit quality.
“There’s a little bit of enthusiasm reversal,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at brokerage firm BTIG. “We feel earnings are going to be OK.”
Kristina Hooper, U.S. investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors, which has $409 billion in assets under management, said the market is likely to be swayed by each big data point in the weeks ahead. Still, she expects stocks to grind higher over the course of this year.
“We’re going to continue to be data driven, and as a result the market is likely to get more volatile,” she said.