Another day of no economic data left the markets looking for cues. The Nikkei closed with a fractional gain of 0.13%, and the EURO STOXX 50 slipped a fractional 0.10%. So Tuesday's focus was on couple of the more dovish Fed presidents, Bullard and Dudley. For an interesting visual of the Fed Presidents on the Dove-Hawk scale, see this graphic from Thomson Reuters. Bullard's presentation is available here. Dudley's speech is available here. But of course it's Bernanke's testimony to Congress today that will be the main event for Fed watchers. The S&P 500 traded in in a 0.74% range from an intraday low of -0.21% yesterday
You have to admit - we were right. Last week was indeed a big week for the S&P 500!
From Monday, 13 May 2013 to Friday, 17 May 2013, the S&P 500 rose by nearly 2%, or 32.35 points, from 1630.77 to a new record high of 1666.12. Over half the gain for the week came on Friday, 17 May 2013, as the S&P 500 rocketed up by 17 points.
In doing that, the S&P 500 completed the transition it began on 1 May 2013, as investors shifted their forward-looking focus from the second quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014 in setting their expectations for the sustainable portion of future earnings growth for the stock market (a.k.a. "future dividend growth"). We can observe this transition directly in our chart below as the movement of the daily and 20-day moving average of the change in the rate
Pre-market futures pointed higher and the S&P 500 obligingly rose at the open. Friday morning's Michigan Consumer Sentiment surprised to the upside, and the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index also rose more than expected. The index didn't initially react to these reports. But around 2 PM, when the index was up about 0.49%, the buyers took charge and lifted the 500 to its closing gain of 0.95% for the