01.22.2012

Earnings Remain Key Driver

01.22.2012

Fears of Eurozone countries have been vanquished from the market as traders put their capital where their mouth is and boost both U.S. and international equities higher.

Despite ongoing talks on a renegotiation of Greek debt over the weekend, institutions and retail traders are convinced that the market has entered a bullish pattern. The S&P 500 continued to smash through key technical levels of resistance last week, ending Friday’s trading session flat at 1315 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average continued its climb to 13,000, up 96 points at 12,720.

The catalyst for driving equities higher is blatantly obvious: earnings growth. Last week had large S&P 500 companies like F5 Networks and banks beating street whisper numbers en masse, driving stocks and their related indices higher.

Strength in financial institutions has also helped boost the market and overall confidence as companies show they can weather any problem in any market. Volumes continue to gain while volatility plunges. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is at 18, a level not seen since August of 2011. However, in both August of 2011 and April 2010, when the VIX was at an extremely low point, a large spike in volatility soon followed.

“Risk is definitely off,” noted one portfolio manager. “As far as stocks go, everyone is a buyer at this point.”

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