Stock market looks to stay above 14,000 mark


Stock futures are in retreat on the first day of trading after the Dow Jones industrial average struck a new post-recession high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 44 points to 13,886 after closing above 14,000 Friday, the Associated Press reported.

As of this morning, the broader S&P futures have lost 5 points to 1,501.70; Nasdaq futures are down 8 points to 2,748.50.

Markets have been on a five-week rally and, for the year, major U.S. indexes are up between 5 percent and 7 percent.

The earnings season continues this week with technology and health companies prominently featured.

Humana reported a 3.5 percent drop in fourth-quarter net income before markets opened Monday as the health insurer absorbed higher claims payments.

Also today, the Commerce Department is expected to report stronger factory orders for December.

The world's best-known stock index has more than doubled from its crisis-era low and is nearing an even more impressive mark — a new all-time high. After closing at 14,009.79 points on Friday, the Dow is less than 155 points from its October 2007 peak, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We've come a long way," Seth Masters, chief investment officer at Bernstein Wealth Management Group in New York, told the Times. "There was a great financial crisis five years ago and there was a lot of repair that had to happen in the corporate world and for consumers."

The surge in the Dow is part of a broader rebound in stock markets around the world, many of which are up 6 percent or more this year.

The rally is a measure of the recovery from the debilitating financial crisis that lashed the economy. And the improved optimism among investors stands in sharp contrast to the anxiety that pervaded financial centers and world capitals during the crisis.

Now investors are hoping that the gruelingly slow convalescence in the U.S. economy and job market will quicken as the year progresses.

Click here for the AP report.

Click here for the LA Times report.


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