[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
1. Moving the Markets
Stocks rallied late in the day, which pushed the S&P 500 to close a third straight day in positive territory and finish just short of its all-time high. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%, the Dow rose 0.4%, however, the Nasdaq fell from grace to close down 0.03%.
A large portion of headlines today focused on the Fed minutes and the back and forth speculation as to when the Fed will raise short-term interest rates. The general sentiment amongst economists is that rate increases are expected to begin some time in 2015. As we all know, the historically low interest rates have been a key driver for the five-year bull market we are in.
In earnings news, Lowe’s (LOW) reported a notable increase in Q2 profits that topped analyst estimates. However, the company also informed us that they lowered their 2014 earnings estimates moving forward. Shares dilly dallied back and forth, but ultimately gained 1.7% on the day.
PetSmart (PETM) rose 1% today, to $70.52 after the company said it was exploring a sale of the business. The pet supply retailer has recently been under pressure from activist investors to consider a deal or a major restructuring. I guess they are starting to listen.
7 of our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight closed up, while 3 of them made new yearly highs as the YTD table below shows.