Headline writers are busy spinning the Dow breaking above 13,000. It's a neat headline but as Ace Greenberg was fond of saying: "It's just a number." But this is the number Main Street and the media follow and obsess over most. The more cynical expression has always been; "The Dow is just window dressing for the tourists." After all the index is just 30 "price weighted" large companies whereas the S&P 500 gives you a better overall picture of market strength.
Economic data wasn't great but bulls managed to cherry-pick the news they liked and ran with it most of the day. Durable Goods sank (-4% vs -.7% expected and prior 3.2%); Case-Shiller Home Price Index (-.5% vs -.4% expected and prior -.7% previous); GS Weekly Store Sales (-1.0% vs previous 3.00%) and lastly, Consumer Confidence (70.8 vs 64 expected and previous 61.1) was what bulls grasped. The latter took the Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) much higher and now the sector is trading at 20 X earnings or a 40% premium to the overall market. I don't know about you, but earnings from the sector have been quite mixed.