S&P 500 Rises to Record on Weaker Dollar, Easing of Bond Selloff
Comment of the Day

May 14 2015

Commentary by David Fuller

S&P 500 Rises to Record on Weaker Dollar, Easing of Bond Selloff

Here is the opening of a short-term summary report from Bloomberg:

U.S. stocks rose for the first time this week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index topping its closing record, as a weaker dollar boosted multinational companies and a bond-market selloff showed signs of easing.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 1 percent at 3:03 p.m. in New York. The gauge has climbed 1.8 percent since falling to a one-month low May 6. Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. jumped more than 2 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index retreated 0.3 percent, headed for a fifth weekly decline. The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell five basis points to 2.24 percent while German bund rates slipped two basis points. Gold rose to the highest since February.

The Bloomberg dollar gauge has retreated from its highest level in data back to 2005 as economic reports undermine prospects for higher borrowing costs. An unexpected drop in wholesale prices fueled doubt about whether inflation is high enough to warrant a rate increase. Declines in the currency have generally boosted shares of the biggest U.S. companies on speculation they make American products more attractive.

The S&P 500’s record was its first since April 24. The gauge fell as much as 1.8 percent through May 6, amid concern the Fed would raise interest rates even with worsening economic data. Stocks have whipsawed between gains and losses in the past six weeks as investors weigh whether a first-quarter slowdown in growth was temporary. It is 0.2 percent higher this week.

David Fuller's view

Corporate growth has been much stronger than national growth, on average, since 2009.  However, looking ahead the global economy is now likely to do somewhat better, due to increasing confidence, continued monetary policy accommodation and low commodity prices which are now just beginning to recover.

The S&P 500 is only 3% higher on the year to date, but more importantly, it reached a new closing high today within its step sequence uptrend.  A clear downward dynamic would be required to delay a move to somewhat higher levels. 

The Dollar Index has retreated further; reducing this headwind for US exporters and lessening the risk of problems for countries which may have borrowed the US currency.  

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