Wednesday was another day with little economic news other than the 8:30 AM ADP private jobs report that surprised to the upside with an estimate of 198K new jobs. The S&P 500 rallied at the open and hit its intraday high less than 30 minutes later, up 0.35%. It reversed directions in a fairly narrow channel to its intraday low, off 0.11%, shortly after 12:00. An afternoon rally lost steam at a level just below the morning high. In the final hour of trading the index essentially bounced off its opening price 15 minutes before the close, rising to a 0.11% gain for the day ... fractional, but still a new interim high.
Volume was dull -- slightly below its 50-day moving average. This, together with the fractional gain, suggests little conviction in yesterday's new interim high.
Here's a 5-minute chart of yesterday's action.
Here's a daily chart of the SPY ETF, which gives a better sense of trader mentality. Two points are notable on Wednesday's data: Very weak volume and a solid black candlestick, which means that, despite the daily gain, the open was higher than the close.
The S&P 500 is now up 8.08% for 2013 and at a new interim high.
From a longer-term perspective, the index is 127.8% above the March 2009 closing low and 1.5% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.
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.