In an interview with CNBC early in the day, the renowned hedge fund manager David Tepper reiterated is wholehearted approval of the seemingly unstoppable bull run markets in the U.S. have been on so far in 2013.
Tepper’s comments were notable in that they displayed confidence in U.S. markets even in the event that the Fed begins to pull back on its much-debated stimulus policy. It is commonly thought that the current rally could not possibly exist without the Fed’s intervention, but Tepper’s argument was based on the premise that with the equity risk premium being as high as it is, stocks are and will continue to be attractive to investors for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office published its updated budget projections for 2013, indicating that, provided there are no changes to taxes and spending, the nation’s deficit may well come in some $200 million shy of the $845 million estimated in February, largely the result of payments to the Treasury made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as an increase in revenues.
Another economic data point that emerged on the day came from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who said that household debt for the first quarter of 2013 was down by 1 percent, or $110 billion, to the lowest level since 2006.
The S&P 500 closed yet again at a new all-time high, up 1.01 percent to 1,650.34 points, led by for-profit higher education company the Apollo Group (APOL), up over 9 percent to close at $20.48. Education and training services companies in general were beneficiaries of Wall Street’s upward leap today.
Apollo was followed by medical appliance manufacturer Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW), up 6.28 percent to $71.57 after the company announced a $750 million share buyback plan, while online travel site TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) was up 5.88 percent to close at $58.01. The company forecasted greater levels of traveling that usual during the upcoming summer season.
As well as the index did, however, two big tech shares in particular provided significant downward pressure. Apple (AAPL) slipped 2.39 percent to close at $443.89, while Intel Corp. (INTC) was down 0.98 percent to $23.84 on high volume.
The Dow closed at a record 15,215.25 points on a gain of 0.82 percent, with a great deal of help from financial stocks, foremost among whom was Bank of America (BAC), up 2.66 percent to $13.32, followed by American Express (AXP) up 2.51 percent to $71.54, the Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV) up 1.51 percent to $87.81, and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) up 1.21 percent to $50.27.
Shares for Boeing got a 1.41 percent boost to $96.10 after the company announced the resumption of its 747 Dreamliners.
Only 4 of the Dow’s components had slipped on the day, including Unitedhealth Group (UNH), Intel, Caterpillar (CAT), and Cisco Systems (CSCO).
The Nasdaq was up 0.69 percent to close at 3,462.61 points, with notable advances for Groupon (GRPN), up 8.33 percent to $6.89 after the company unveiled a new point-of-sale iPad app called Breadcrumb. Biotech company Gilead Sciences (GILD) was up 3.27 percent to $56.25, while video game developer Activison Blizzard (ATVI) closed on a 3.13 percent gain at $15.14 after reports that digital firm Vivendi is reportedly considering making a bid.
On the downside, Blackberry (BBRY) slid nearly 4 percent to $15.25 after announcing a cheaper version of its new model smartphone, while Tesla Motors (TSLA) finally ended its incredible run of the last few trading sessions, shedding 5.19 percent to $83.24, and SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) dropped 12.37 percent to close the day at $31.44.