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With no economic news to disturb the market, the S&P 500 posted its first Monday gain in 2013. The previous positive Monday close was the 1.69% surge on New Year's Eve, a celebration of the resolution to the Fiscal Cliff.

Monday's index gain was a less impressive 0.46%. What moved the market yesterday? Well, there was no bad news ... except perhaps for Apple shareholders (who lost 2.45% for the day) and folks heavily invested in China (where the Shanghai Composite plunged 3.65%). Meanwhile, the eurozone markets were relatively tame. Actually, Bloomberg's explanation for Mondday's gain is as good as any: U.S. Stocks Rise as Stimulus Bets Offset China Concerns. S&P 500 volume, however, was lackluster -- 14% below its 50-day moving average.

Here is a 5-minute look at Monday's action, which fell into three distinct stages: A morning struggle with opening price resistance, selling over lunch and an afternoon rally.

(click to enlarge)

The S&P 500 is now up 6.94% for 2013 and a mere 0.37% below the interim closing high of February 19, 2013.

From a longer-term perspective, the index is 125.4% above the March 2009 closing low and 2.6% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here's a long-term view of secular bull and bear markets in the S&P Composite since 1871.

Source: S&P 500 Snapshot: Finally, No Monday Blues