Elliot Spar, a market strategist with Stifel Nicolaus, posed the question that is at the forefront on everyone’s mind with regard to yet another day of gains for the S&P 500: “What’s the catalyst for a pullback?”. The S&P 500 index added about a quarter of a percent to around the 1,555 level, putting it in a position to match its October 2007 record high of 1,565.15.
The question is fueled in part by some strong across the board performances that are starting to look as though they may be on the same inevitable trajectory as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was last week. Financial stocks lead the S&P 500’s charge today, with some of the most impressive being Citigroup (C) up 2.23 percent to $47.72, life insurance provider Genworth Financial (GNW) up 6.55 percent to $10.48, and the property management company the CBRE Group (CBG) up 2.43 percent to $25.24.
Services stocks also performed very well, with the book publisher McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP) up 3.39 percent to $49.17 per share, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) up 2.37 percent to $60.78, and Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC) up 3.12 percent to $14.40.
Other notable performances included Boeing Co. (BA), who managed to gain 1.97 percent to $82.83 despite all the recent problems with the lithium batteries in their new jets, as well as the video game designer Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), up 2.69 percent to $19.08, and Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP), up 2.36 percent to $48.49 per share.
The day’s gains were bolstered to some extent by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropping 6.7 percent to 11.75, despite nagging questions of an impending correction.