The S&P 500 closed Thursday with its fifth consecutive gain (thanks to Wednesday's one-basis-point rise). Pre-market futures pointed higher, and a good weekly unemployment report helped ensure a positive start. The index rose at the open and continued to its mid-morning high in the vicinity of 1590, where it floated until lunchtime. The rally resumed for about ninety minutes to its intraday high, up 0.88%, shortly after 2 PM. But the trend then shifted, and the index gave up a bit more than half its advance to close with a more modest 0.40% gain.
Here is a 15-minute look at the week so far. Friday's big test will be the Advance Estimate of Q1 GDP before the market opens. The consensus among economists is around 3.0%, which would be a major improvement over the previous quarter's 0.4%. Is this expectation baked into the 500's current closing price?
On a daily chart we see that Thursday's volume was again above average.
The S&P 500 is now up 11.15% for 2013 and 0.51% below the all-time closing high of April 11th.
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.