It’s been a game of ping pong at the 2100 line for the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY), and the ball is back in the upper court. The longest period of time any level above 2100 has been sustained has been 3 weeks from mid May to June. This is the 31st time that the line has been crossed, either up or down.
The move came a bit unexpectedly as a sudden surge of buying hit the markets for a whole hour between 10 and 11am pushing the index up nearly a whole percent in that time frame. Also suprisingly, the VIX, or Volatility Index, commonly known as the Fear Index, still edged up 1.5% despite overall stock gains.
Gold stocks outperformed today, with the majors (NYSEARCA:GDX) closing up close to 4% but gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) up only 0.25% by comparison. The rest of the commodity complex continued to underperform with oil closing the day below $42 and major oil ETFs like the US Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:USO) reaching new lows, with no relief in sight for the energy sector.
Leading oil stock Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) ended the day with respectable gains despite the gloom, trading up 0.5%, unlike its competitor Chevron (NYSE:CVX), which lost 2%.
On the docket for tomorrow are housing starts, which will be published an hour before market open at 8:30am, as well as the CPI and Core CPI, with market analysts expecting a 0.2% gain in inflation. The CPI figure could be indicative of a possible September rate hike, as the higher the number is, the higher the chances of the Federal Reserve hiking its target overnight right by 25 basis points by then.