S&P 500 tops 1,500, but falls back

The index hits its highest level in 5 years before ending flat on the day. The Wilshire 5000 hits a record. But profit-taking and Apple's big selloff pull both indexes and the market overall back.

By Charley Blaine Jan 24, 2013 4:11PM
© Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStockUpdated: 4:35 p.m. ET

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) topped 1,500 on Thursday for the first time since December 2007 as the January rally continued -- despite the big drubbing that Apple (AAPL) shares suffered.

The index of large-cap stocks lost some of its groove in the afternoon, however. It fell back to 1,495, up very slightly from Wednesday and down 7 points from its high on the day.

The S&P 500 wasn't alone in hitting a milestone. The Wilshire 5000 Index ($W5000) hit a new record of 15,861.16 before falling back to 15,785, up 15 points. The index beat its old record of 15,813.52 at 9:44 a.m. ET.

It shouldn't surprise that the S&P 500 (or the Wilshire for that matter) suffered a pullback. A level like 1,500 isn't terribly meaningful from a fundamental point of view, but any 100-point level is an important psychological milestone. When it's breached for a first time, investors tend to take some profits.

That seemed to be happening on Thursday. But the market also has been looking quite toppy in the last week or so, with technical indicators strongly suggesting it is overbought. So a pullback should surprise no one.

The pullback affected other indexes on Thursday, although the S&P 500 with its tiny gain was up for a seventh straight day. Offsetting Apple's loss in the index was a staggering gain for Netflix (NFLX), which gained $43.60 to $146.86. The shares had traded as high as $149.17.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed up 46 points to 13,825 -- its fifth straight gain and best close since Oct. 31, 2007. The blue chips, however, had been up as many as 100 points earlier in the session. The leaders were Cisco Systems (CSCO), Boeing (BA) and Home Depot (HD).

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX), however, suffered because of Apple, whose fiscal first-quarter earnings report disappointed many investors. The index finished down 23 points to 3,130. Its Wednesday close of 3,154 was its best since Nov. 15, 2000.  Netflix was the leader.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) had the worst day of things, down 39 points to 2,724, even if 65 stocks in the index were higher. Apple represents 15.3% of the market capitalization of the stocks in the index.

Apple closed down $63.51 to $450.50, just above its low on the day and its lowest close since Jan. 27, 2012. The shares are down 36% since peaking in mid-September. Some $236 billion of shareholder wealth has been erased in the process.

With today's close, the Dow is up 5.5% in January. The S&P 500 is up 4.8%. Both are looking their best January performances since 1997. The Nasdaq is up 3.7%. In January 2012, the index jumped 8%.

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10Comments
Jan 24, 2013 5:28PM
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The market is up 7 days in a row and gold: Well, it`s a black hole, down 6 straight

weeks.Gold bugs hate hearing the truth.If it went up for one day they`ld be happier

than a hog in slop.

Jan 24, 2013 9:23PM
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Everyday the markets finish UP is a borrowed from the Federal Reserve Day with us on the hook for it. Don't cheer, we are dying out here from financial tyranny.
Jan 24, 2013 6:23PM
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...the S & P "lost its groove"  (?????)

get the f()(k outa here;

next time I'm sick at home I gonna drink!

Jan 25, 2013 9:06AM
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With Markets being pushed to knew highs, and monetizing of debt; According to some, maybe many we are setting up a "perfect storm" for investing...?

And several are calling for a correction, which in general is healthy for bull markets, in order to retrench, take profits and reinvest in a dip situation..

And inflation could be lurking around the corner or over the next rise, Market rise, Fed off the gas pedal or Recovery taking a stronger hold...So you make your choices and invest accordingly..

Although many equities have risen 5-7% others in the 10-14% range..A few have dropped back, but damn few since the year's beginning...And 2013 seems to hold many more promises then 2012.?

 

Keeping that in mind, a FEW are calling for a 10% correction, most are not.

I think the possibility of a 5-7% correction could become a reality, maybe over a 2-3 day period and then a fairly quick recovery back to the high 13s pushing through 14,000 and 1500 on the S&P.

Some cash on the table might be prudent at this time. To invest or pick up equities on a short term discount to trading prices of recent weeks..

Gold,silver and other PMs are trading or have been stagnating at lower levels for some time now, but money is still being made with careful trades...

Consideration should be given at these levels, with the possible threat of Inflation or unstable currencies worldwide...No the Goldbugs have not given up, they are marking time, reinvesting and waiting for some new breakouts..

Jan 25, 2013 8:35AM
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True,true....Markets are up a bunch since Obama has been in office...

But keep in mind where we came from, in 2008 and Spring 2009.

I still will call it the "depth's of hell".....Many loss from 40-70% of their Holdings or Investments.

Some had very poor management of their funds; And MFund managers were slow to react..IMO.

Then upon advice or poor advice, many went to cash or cash like, safe investments.

Some of that was done by the hand of the Investor themselves...

Then by staying in "sideline cash" they got hit or lost a second time...Or made very small gains.

Now they are encouraging many of the investors, to bring back more cash or re-invest in Wall St.

And the Markets are somewhat at their "highs" plus some Sectors or equities are at "all time highs",

And not condusive for returning monies to see huge gains without some corrections...??

Which could be oncoming in the very near future...IMO 

Jan 24, 2013 5:20PM
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These are the good old days with the market up over 85% with Obama.The Dow was

down 37% during Bushs` term.Who wants to go back to those dark days.When I

ask Repubs to name something good about those days they change the subject

or can`t remember who was Bush 43.Let me remind you:those days were

the PITS.

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