Stocks could continue to stair step higher, as the dog days of summer take hold and markets await central bank action in September.
The week ahead should provide insight into the consumer from earnings reports from major retailers, including Home Depot and Wal-Mart , as well as the July retail sales report. A few other important economic reports, such as industrial production and consumer and producer inflation data, punctuate a week that promises to be otherwise quiet.
Stocks , in the past week, quietly consolidated the gains made since the June 4 low. Up for eight of the last 10 weeks, the S&P 500broke through 1400 for the first time since May and then tread water around that level for four sessions. It finished the week at 1405, up 1 percent and is now up more than 9.5 percent since early June. The Dow was up 0.9 percent to 13,207, and the Nasdaq gained 1.8 percent for the week to 3020.
“This rally caught us by surprise, I have to admit. We thought the fundamentals would be weaker, and they have been, but the market does well anyway,” said Ed Keon, managing director at Prudential Financial’s Quantitative Management Associates.
Many analysts and traders have been befuddled by the stealthy summer rally, coming even as earnings reports reveal weaker revenues and slowing earnings growth.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page