The pre-market data for February Employment came in well above expectations and the unemployment rate dropped. The S&P 500 rose 0.48% in the opening minutes Friday but was met with immediate profit taking. The index dipped briefly into the red about 40 minutes later. But the buying resumed, and by late in the day the index rose to its intraday high, up 0.53%. Last minute selling trimmed the closing gain to 0.45%. For the week the 500 was up an impressive 2.17%, only 0.89% from its all-time high.
Here's a 5-minute look at Friday's action:
Here's a 15-minute chart of the week. To repeat my observation from last week, the majority of the week's gains were accomplished from the Monday noon hour to mid-morning on Tuesday -- a weak echo of a much stronger rally in Europe. The subsequent trend was at a much slower pace with the 1545 level as resistance. Friday's good jobs number certainly wasn't the powerful catalyst many expected.
The S&P 500 is now up 8.76% for 2013 and at a new interim high.
From a longer-term perspective, the index is 129.3% above the March 2009 closing low and 0.89% 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.