The market is trading higher again in what has turned out to be a generally widespread rally. Most of the major indices are nearing their recent September highs but the NASDAQ has managed to hit new highs for the year. Overall it's been another quiet news day. Investors are looking toward the end of the two-day FOMC meeting tomorrow and the beginning of the G20 economic summit on Thursday. Several stocks were upgraded or had their price targets raised adding to the bullish tone.
Asian markets were mixed. The Japanese markets are still closed for holiday and won't reopen until September 24th. The Chinese Shanghai index lost 2.3% but the Hong Kong Hang Seng index rose just over 1%. Europe delivered another quiet day of trading. Most of the major indices gapped higher and then slowly drifted lower throughout the session. The German DAX closed with a 0.7% gain. The French CAC-40 rose +0.3%. The English FTSE managed a 0.16% gain.
The Federal Reserve is holding their sixth meeting of the year. No one expects any change in the current interest rate policy of 0.0 to 0.25%. The only news will be the FOMC's statement regarding current economic conditions and any futures concerns due out around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday. There are two more meetings scheduled for 2009. One in early November and another in mid December. Meanwhile in this current news vacuum the spotlight seems to be heating up for the G20 economic summit that begins on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Financial stocks are some of the best performers today. Influential analyst Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities raised his price target on Bank of America (BAC) from $19 to $25. J.P.Morgan Chase (JPM) had its earnings estimates raised by another analyst. Macy's (M), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), U.S. Steel (X), Peabody Energy (BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), and Google (GOOG) are just a few of the stocks that were upgraded or had their price targets raised this morning.
The bounce in the U.S. dollar has already vanished and the dollar tagged new lows for 2009. This is giving commodities a boost. Crude oil is up 2.5% around $71.50 a barrel. Gold futures are up $10 to almost $1,015 an ounce. Copper, aluminum and nickel are all higher on the session. As a result the mining stocks and energy sector are showing relative strength. The XAU index is up 2.1%. The GDX gold-miner ETF is up 2.2%. The OIX oil index is up 1.5% and the OSX oil services index is up 1.8%. The banking indices are up between 2.0% and 2.3%. Meanwhile the best performing group today appears to be the gambling sector with the DJUSCA index up 2.9%.
Currently the S&P 500 index is up almost seven points at 1071 and approaching its highs from last week. The NASDAQ composite is up more than seven points with a new high for the year but it's struggling with the 2150 level. The Dow Industrials are up about 44 points near 9822. The small cap Russell 2000 index is up about five points at 621 and trading near its 2009 highs from last week.
Let's take a quick look at charts for the major averages:
Chart of the S&P 500:
Chart of the NASDAQ:
Chart of the Dow Industrials:
Chart of the Russell 2000 index:
A quick review of the OptionInvestor.com play list reveals that ATI is showing relative strength with a 2.8% gain. CMP is hitting new highs over $60.00. DO and OXY look strong thanks to the bounce in crude oil. The USO is up almost 3% due to the rally in oil.