The S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) rose steadily throughout the day to finish 0.5% higher at 1838.63, which is within striking distance of the all-time high of 1850.85 from mid-January.
Sector-wise, we saw notable strength in energy, housing, and industrials, while financials, tech, and retail lagged.
Small caps were also sluggish, with the Russell 2000
(INDEXRUSSELL:RUT) up just 0.1%.
In all, the market seems to be repeating the pattern seen throughout 2013 -- temporary dips below the 50-day moving average on the S&P, at which point fears rapidly escalate before the market resumes its climb up the wall of worry.
Economic and earnings numbers remain mixed at best, but the lack of an outright disaster keeps the bears at bay, even with the Fed backing off QE.
The January Import Price Index fell 1.5%, a smaller decline than the 1.8% expected by Wall Street.
January Industrial Production fell 0.3%, which was well under expectations for a 0.2% gain. Capacity Utilization was slightly weak at 78.5%.
On the positive side, the February University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was unchanged at 81.2, beating the 80.2 consensus.
In earnings news, Campbell Soup
(NYSE:CPB) rose 5.0% to $43.01 after reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenues and full-year guidance that were above Wall Street forecasts.
(NYSE:H) was another earnings winner, staging a 7.0% rally to hit $52.85 at the close on a significant earnings beat.
On the downside, VF Corp
(NYSE:VFC) took a 5.1% hit after its fourth-quarter results disappointed across the board. Earnings, revenues, and full-year guidance were below Street estimates.
In other stock news, Time Warner Cable
(NYSE:TWC) rose 0.8% to $146.00 as sentiment toward its pending acquisition by Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) improved. Upon the agreement announcement Thursday morning, investors were skeptical of the deal's chances of being approved by regulators, but those fears are abating.
Tuesday's Financial Outlook
On Monday, the market will be closed in observance of Presidents' Day.
We'll pick up things on Tuesday with earnings reports from Coca-Cola
(NYSE:KO), Duke Energy
(NYSE:DUK), and Medtronic
(NYSE:MDT). In earnings, we'll be seeing the Empire Manufacturing Index, Long-Term TIC Flows, and NAHB Housing Market Index numbers.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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