Dow at a Record, but No Trucks in Front of NYSE
In 1999, when the Dow industrials first hit 10,000 on March 16, 1999, not only were Dow 10,000 hats passed out (I still have mine), there were crowds of reporters outside with TV trucks. Same in 2007, when the Dow hit its prior historic high.
(Read More: What the Pros Are Saying About the Market's Rally)
Today, there were no trucks in front of the exchange. It's not that it wasn't a hot topic: It made the front page of many newspapers, including The New York Times, but the Times' sub-headline was very typical of the coverage: "Some Investors Wary."
We are opening up on strong momentum from Asia (Japan at a 2.5-year high) and Europe (Germany at a five-year high); S&P futures popped as February ADP employment gauge change came in at 198,000, above consensus of 178,000.
1) The markets may be at new highs, but one thing that hasn't bounced back is volume. It still looks lower in 2013 compared to 2012, which was also a low year. Interesting story today: Nasdaq OMX announces it is creating a private market for trading, to compete with SecondMarket.
There's a simple problem: Nasdaq and NYSE Euronext are continuing to lose market share to dark pools and internalizers. They're being helped because they own options businesses that's offsetting some of the equities decline, but there are 11 options exchanges and even that business is showing smaller margins. The key takeaway: The hunt is on for alternative pools.
2) You can't say there are no victims from the sequester: Take a look at Aerovironment, trading down about 25 percent in the pre-open. It's a drone and electric vehicle maker that reported lower profit and cut its full-year guidance on a delay in government orders. It's expecting sales between $230 million and $250 million, down from $370 million. The company, of course, hopes these orders may come back in 2014.
3) Attention exchange-traded funds investors: China will soon be part of global indexes. MSCI, the main global index index, has officials on a tour of Asia. It is saying that mainland Chinese stocks — currently excluded from global indexes on which billions are pegged — could be part of these indexes in three to five years. That would be big news: Mainland China would immediately become the second-biggest country in the Global All-Cap Index after the U.S., with a 7 percent weighting. More importantly, it would be 40 percent of most emerging market indexes. This has enormous implications for people investing in global markets using ETFs.
4) The world really is changing: ) the U.S. has passed Saudi Arabia as the world's largest fuel producer; and 2) China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest oil importer.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani