Dow sets a new high; S&P 500 just misses

A late-day surge pushes stocks solidly higher, but the S&P 500 again stalls before its all-time high of 1,615. Health care and energy shares lead the rally.

By Charley Blaine Mar 26, 2013 4:26PM
Updated: 5:40 p.m. ET.

For the second time in two days, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) just missed setting a new high. But not to worry. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) did march to a new high.

The market overall rallied into Tuesday's close, with the Dow moving up 112 points to 14,560, breaking a record set March 14.

The S&P 500 closed up 12 points to 1,563.77. That was about 1.4 points below the index's Oct. 9, 2007, closing peak of 1,565.15. The index came within a quarter-point of that level on Monday but fell back on worries about Europe.
The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) added 17 points to 3,252, its second-highest finish since Nov. 7, 2000.

The market pushed higher on decent news about the housing market. While new-home sales fell in February from January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the sales for the first two months of the year were the best since 2008.

The housing report offset a decline in consumer confidence. But economists attributed the decline to when the survey was taken -- several weeks when retail gasoline prices were rising. Retail gas nationally averaged $3.658 a gallon nationally, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Stock market traders © Photodisc/SuperStock

That's down 13 cents a gallon from a peak of $3.786 a gallon, reached Feb. 27.

If there is a downside to Tuesday's finish, it is the resistance that the S&P 50's 1,565.15 record is exercising on the market.  Continued inability to move above that 2007 closing high -- or its intraday record of 1,576.09, reached on Oct. 11, 2007 -- could lead to a breakdown in the index.

The rally was broad, with all 10 sectors of the S&P 500 moving higher on the day. Health care and energy stocks led the rally. Intel (INTC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Boeing (BA) were the Dow leaders; 21 of the 30 stocks in the index were higher.

A total of 139 stocks overall hit new highs today, including Visa (V), Williams-Sonoma (WSM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and American Express (AXP).

The day's gains were the best since March 5. The Dow is up 11.1% this year, with the S&P 500 up 9.7%. The Nasdaq is up 7.7%.

More on Top Stocks
Mar 26, 2013 5:09PM
Retirement accounts have fully recovered?  Great!  The market should head even higher, as long as Bernanke is pumping in $85 billion every month.  The key will be to step off the elevator at the highest floor possible before the cable breaks.  Keep adjusting those stop-loss points as we move higher.

The unemployment rate IS down, for sure.  But it's not because we are creating jobs, it's because people are retiring or dropping out of the workforce.  The labor participation rate is at a multi-decade low and millions less people are working now than were in 2008.

Home sales ARE up.  Building permits ARE up.  Home prices ARE up.  It would be nice if we knew exactly how much REO the banks were holding onto.  I'm still seeing quite a few homes that are clearly vacant and that also aren't for sale.  There is definitely more new home construction going on now, but this is a double-edged sword considering the number of "used" homes that are empty.

And finally, consider this.  With a roughly $16 trillion GDP growing at roughly 2%, we're talking about roughly $320 billion in growth every year, or about $27 billion in growth every month.  Ben is pumping $85 billion into the economy every month.  So we're getting $27 billion in growth for our $85 billion investment.  Not such a rosy picture.  This doesn't count the additional $83 billion per month in deficit spending by our fed gov.

Mar 26, 2013 5:05PM


The same thing happened under Clinton.... Too many ignorant people tie the stock market to how the economy is going.

Sure, a strong market is nice... HOWEVER; it means very little when you have the government involved in "quantive easing" aka propping up the market, to the tune of $90 billion a month by some estimates!


So, now instead of a false tech bubble, then a false housing bubble, now we have a false government bubble. Just imagine what happens when the government bubble pops! It will make every collapse before then (combined) look insignificant.


Mar 26, 2013 5:17PM
Yes, my retirement account has recovered but only its dollar value.  It is the same as it was in 12 years ago when the S&P was at this level.  But the purchasing power is 40% less due to infaltion. So I'm worse off now then 12 years ago.
Mar 26, 2013 5:26PM
If I had the Fed stuffing hundreds of billions of dollars in my pants every year I would be fat and happy like Wall Street.
Mar 26, 2013 5:02PM


Do you understand that he has added over 5 trillion in debt? Do you know what hyper inflation is? You need to look it up because all that "profit" of yours will be consumed by it and what's left will go in higher taxes to that bigger government you voted for back in November. Clueless.

Mar 26, 2013 5:36PM
Whoopedy doo!!! Bigger dividends, no more full time employment, cheaply made products, lousy customer service, big price tags, hostile takeovers. Massive equities, exorbitant securities and lavishly overpaid CEO's . Glad  we see records but when will the Fed be removing the 3 trillion out of the system? Will there still be caviar wishes and champagne dreams?
Mar 26, 2013 5:08PM
Lets see, investors are betting that health care will make windfall profits.  Thanks Obama health care.  I just read in the paper how rates were going up for millions of americans.  Hmmmmm, sounds like people are betting healthcare is going to soak the American public and it should be profitable!!  Thanks!!
Mar 26, 2013 5:01PM

Tip - Let me see if you are saying the same thing by the end of his term. Obammy's policies are the spitting image of Carter's - it's just a matter of time before inflation hits the roof. We are alreay on a 10% inflation track if you look at REAL numbers. Don't be deceived, simpleton, don't be deceived!


Dr. E

Mar 26, 2013 6:51PM
I also have the same $$$ as back in October of 1999.  But I've lost 13 years of interest and 13 years of inflation.  I may have the same $$$ amount. But it's only worth about  30% in  value compared to 1999 money.
Mar 26, 2013 7:29PM

What a farce!  Nobody that I know is doing any better.  The stock market gains and highs don't mean anything to most of us.  So, who is actually doing better?  The extremely rich that's who.  Another day of good new for them and nothing changes for the rest of us.


Hard work and perseverance have lost the battle to a corrupt system that takes care of an elite few.

Mar 26, 2013 5:43PM

This is an artificial rise of the dow by government and banks. I know how this all works and you all will see a crash bigger than any from recent memory soon. Those that are foolish enough to believe the govnt/media hype about the economy turning around deserve to be skinned when the time of plunder starts. I laugh and feel pitty for those people who still watch cnn/fox/cnbc, etc propaganda stations and claim they are informed and know whats going on.


I read the comments below and most are posting comments in the correct direction, its people like  that are the epitome of brain dead mainstream media whores that argue a bogus and false argument. God help us.

Mar 26, 2013 5:02PM
Mar 26, 2013 5:13PM

One thing for sure, when this ride ends, you don't want to be in cash.  Greece anyone?

Mar 26, 2013 5:49PM
The Dow is UP because the Dow is UP.

Mar 26, 2013 7:33PM
The economy as it is is false as can be and has been generated by Bernanke and house. If we're lucky the rest of the world will give us enough time to slowly allow the Fed to convert all those worthless bonds and treasuries they now hold back to funds so inflation doesn't wipe us all out.
     whether true or not, ride the train while it's going up and know enough to pull out when the gettings good. The market is the next bubble. 
      Whether you're  Dumbocrat or Republithug neither one of the parties has anyone with enough financial sense to fix the issue. They just have the ability to pass a law so they can steal yours.
       You voted it in, either vote it out or live with it and ST*U. There are no two parties once on the hill.

Mar 26, 2013 5:07PM
Mar 26, 2013 7:11PM
What is wrong with this picture, we have exploding debt sucking capital out of the private sector, small businesses are collapsing due to no credit as are small communty banks (making the larger ones even larger [thank you government for that]) companies are cutting jobs and not hiring to grow their bottomlines (I'd do the same in this pitiful economy), we're printing bilions of dollars devaluing our currency and causing not only a loss of purchasing power, but a form of hidden taxation that only benefits the government ("again"), there is billions upon billions of dollars of waste not counting the governments penchant for solar companies and windfarms, and we're facing the distruction of our healthcare system that no one will be able to afford though previously about 80% to 85% could before obamacare - so why is the stock market going up for the few?  Probably the government needs another sacred cow to attack, but when you look at what I have written all the consequences and thos unintended ones are due to our worthless government and leader.  Wait until the bubble bursts "again" on wallstreet; what will they say then?
Mar 26, 2013 7:01PM

QE1,QE2,QE3 the Fed is driving the market while they devalue the dollar. The stock market opens higher on future sales over night, quess who is doing the night buying. The dollar is under pressure as the worlds reserve currency, no one is buying bonds to float this wet dream economy except the Fed at the tune of 65 billiom a month, 1 trillion a year.

What happens when the Fed quits propping up the stock and bond market, quits buying toxic assets. We are heading for the mother of all crashes and there is nothing out there that can stop it.

Mar 26, 2013 6:10PM

These are the good old days.The market is at an all-time high.Of course the bears will

try to throw cold water on it.Some people would complain about hitting the lottery.

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