Instead of picking a bottom, investors fear missing a speeding train
New highs for the S&P 500: So what's next? The index is now up 6 weeks in a row, and is threatening the recent record of seven consecutive winning weeks since hitting its 2009 low. We have had below-normal volume all week, and the December 2012 taper trades have come off. We are back to high-beta names, with old tech (Cisco) out and Internet and tech (Yahoo, Zillow, Yelp, Groupon, Priceline, Amazon, Facebook, Linkedin all up 3 to 7 percent this week) back in.
Is there a big reason to sell? Not right now. Everyone has gone back to being more scared of missing the upside than getting killed on the downside.
What about earnings for next year? It's too early to argue about that, but right now, the market is trading at 15 times earnings, with expectations of earnings growth of roughly 10 percent next year. That is not overpriced.
JPMorgan analyst Thomas J Lee raised his S&P 500 target to 1,825 from 1,775, in a call in which he said U.S. is in secular bull market.
We haven't had a correction of 10 percent or more since 2011--that is a long time. Plenty of people are expecting it in 2014, but that is a long way off.
The bottom line: this has been a very powerful rally all year, and right now, especially after Janet Yellen's testimony, there is no reason to change that. When traders cannot come up with a convincing argument to sell immediately, the market tends to drift up.
1) Retail earnings: it's commonplace to say that high-end retailers are doing better than lower end retailers. That's certainly evident with Nordstrom reporting decent earnings after the close yesterday, with a raise to full year earnings guidance. Comparable store sales growth have been modest, however, with third quarter sales up only fractionally and 2014 overall sales up 2.5 percent.
2) There are a couple of initial public offerings (IPOs) at the NASDAQ: Online mom retailer Zulily (ZU) priced 11.5 million shares at $22 , well above the price talk of $18-$20, and biotech firm Relypsa (RLYP) priced 6.8 million shares at $11 apiece, below downwardly revised initial price talk.
Speaking of IPOs, Twitter options start trading today. It's had a steady week...after pricing at $26 and opening at $45.10 on November 7th and trading as high as $50 on its first day, it's held steady between $40 and $45 this week.
3) Japan's Nikkei up another two percent overnight, now at a six-month high.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani