The S&P 500 index posted a new closing high on Thursday, surpassing the previous record of 1565.15 set in October 2007, as investors continued a strong run that has seen the index rise nearly 10 percent in the first three months of the year.
TIM GHRISKEY, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, SOLARIS GROUP, BEDFORD HILLS, NEW YORK:
"It's certainly good, it means we've been in a strong recovery stock market. The rally we've had since mid-November has been driven by improving macroeconomic fundamentals, and a slowly but surely improving economy.
"There are a lot of computer-driven asset allocation programs that look at recent price trends and allocate toward the strongest asset class. So we expect those asset allocation programs come Monday morning to at least give us an initial boost toward increased cash flows into equities. Likely that positive influence lasts for several days."
CHRIS RUPKEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, BANK OF TOKYO/MITSUBISHI UFJ, NEW YORK:
"The Great Recession is over and now that the financial market turbulence is over, the broader stock market is back at an all-time record close. This sorry chapter in U.S. history is now behind us and good riddance. The stock market is the most leading of leading indicators and it is telling us the economic outlook in 2013 is going to be better than the doubters would have you believe."
QUINCY KROSBY, MARKET STRATEGIST, PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
"It will go into the history books, but the key is whether we'll see any follow-through. It's important because the S&P is a broader index than the Dow and is more representative of the economy, although it doesn't have the same cachet for retail investors.
"If we get a correction, it will come from either the credit markets and Europe, a geopolitical event, or that revenue growth is waning. Then again, the sorts of things that used to cause pullbacks don't seem to bother people right now, and that is a little disconcerting. Ultimately, the market should reflect corporate earnings today and in the near future, and some of what we've heard suggests things are not stellar there."
MICHAEL MULLANEY, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT FIDUCIARY TRUST CO IN BOSTON:
"This is overdue. We knew it was going to come, and the only thing that prevented it from happening sooner is the tech sector. Obviously Apple hasn't performed well this year, and that held back the S&P 500 at large in a way that obviously didn't impact the Dow. It is nice to be at a new record, but we don't know how long we'll be at these levels. There could be a soft quarter ahead of us, and it wouldn't be surprising to see us consolidate. We hope the market will be higher than where it now at year end, we still think that we're in the early stages of a great rotation into stocks."
MICHAEL WOOLFOLK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, BNY MELLON, NEW YORK:
"It's confirmation that the risk rally is going to continue this year, despite negative developments overseas. We feel we're in phase one of a great rotation, which involves cash coming off the sidelines and into equities. Toward the end of the year and in 2014, it will start to come from bond selling. We won't see that until inflation emerges, though. So we see the equities rally continuing and think there will be very little collateral damage form the crisis in Cyprus. It could even be a net benefit, as we may see capital flight from Europe to the U.S."
BRUCE MCCAIN, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AT KEY PRIVATE BANK IN CLEVELAND, OHIO:
"This is a very appropriate punctuation for a great quarter that saw a lot of last year's anxieties recede. However, this could be the start to a more realistic look at the problems that still haven't gone away. Some degree of caution is probably still merited, with the problems in Cyprus probably only the beginning to what we could see in coming months.
"On an inflation-adjusted basis, we're not back to where we were. We're not really back until we eclipse that inflation-adjusted level."
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)