Happy Friday the 13th! Let’s cut to the chase: here are three things you need to know ahead of the last trading day of the week.
Superstition be damned, today is all about hope over experience in Europe where the German DAX (^GDAXI) hit record highs and punched over 11,000 for the first time ever. Why? Because the German economy expanded at .7%, Greece hasn’t done anything insane in almost one full day and Vladimir Putin swears he’s going to stop taking over Ukraine sometime this weekend.
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It’s called Suspension of Disbelief. That’s a 19th century idea that if you introduce just a semblance of truth into a work of fiction the audience will temporarily withhold judgement. It seems like a human, sane thing to not plunge your country into economic chaos. Maybe this time is different. Maybe Greece and Putin will bend to the will of the West. Hey, weirder things have happened though none leap to mind at the moment.
Speaking of records, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) is so close to new closing highs you can smell the animal spirits wafting through downtown Manhattan. We closed at 2088.48 yesterday. That’s two points, or just .1%, from the December 29th peak. The 1% rally yesterday took us gleefully out of the trading channel we’ve been stuck in pretty much all year.
Related: Stocks rally on Greek debt deal hopes
Even more giddily the Nasdaq (^IXIC) is definitively over its December highs and less than 3% from 5,000! Thursday’s close was a 15-year high and the ninth highest close in Nasdaq history. Grouse all you want about “valuations” but price is reality. One more good push and we can push all that unpleasantness related to the Internet bubble into the ashbin of history where it belongs.
And finally it’s a tough day for repression, but a great day for theaters as “50 Shades of Grey” opens nationwide. Hopeless romantics and hopeful spouses are lining up to see the story of a chisled young billionaire dungeon master and his hardware store clerk lover. Budgeted at a modest $ 40 million the film is expected to take in twice that over the four day weekend. It’s already Universal Studios biggest ever open in the French market which comes as no surprise to anyone following the Dominique Strauss-Khan.
Disbelief isn’t the only thing likely to be suspended this weekend. Make it a good long weekend, folks. See you on Tuesday.
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- Vladimir Putin