Mixed Day for Stocks (Bloomberg)
In the wake of better-than-expected April retail sales data, stocks had a mixed day, with about three stocks falling for every two that rose. The S&P 500 squeaked out a minimal gain for the day, while the Dow lowered slightly. “It’s obvious that this market has got legs, the question is whether the economy is going to grow some legs to support stocks going forward,” Frank Braddock, senior portfolio manager with the Braddock Group of JHS Capital Advisors, said.
Investors Borrowing Big from Portfolios (CNBC)
Thanks to positive perceptions of the current market, stock investors are taking out loans against their portfolios at the fastest pace since the recession happened. “Margin debt is now (near) record levels,” says Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at R.W. Baird. “When investors are willing to borrow lots of money to buy stocks, that is a sign of real optimism.”
Dollar up for Third Straight Session (Reuters)
The U.S. dollar rose against both the euro and the yen for the third session in a row, thanks today to the aforementioned good sales data. After hitting the 100-yen level last week, the dollar continued rising to its highest point against the Japanese currency since late 2008.