Stealth rally continues on Euro numbers, China easing

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

I noted on Thursday the S&P 500 had broken out of the trading range it had been stuck in all year and is only two points away from its historic closing high of 2,090 it hit at the end of December.

Other indices are already there, including the S&P Midcap Index and the Semiconductor ETF have both been hitting historic highs.

The NASDAQ is also at a 15-year high.

Whether it's better earnings, or hope for a Greek deal, or a truce in the Ukraine, or oil over $50, there has definitely been a "growth bid" to big-cap U.S. stocks this week, while more defensive names like Utilities, Telecom and Healthcare are lagging.

Here are some sectors that are up this week:

  • Technology: Up 3.5 percent
  • Materials: Up 2.1 percent
  • Consumer Discretionary: Up 2.1 percent
  • Financials: Up 1.3 percent
  • Industrials: Up 1.1 percent

Elsewhere, global markets are higher across the board. China's Shanghai Index was up q1 percent overnight, its fifth straight day of gains.

Mainland stocks rose after China's central bank eased borrowing regulations in the Shanghai free-trade zone, and there's also been speculation of more stimulus from the People's Bank of China.

Greek negotiators are meeting with the troika today, ahead of a Euro group meeting on the debt talks.

Europe is also trading up as economic growth was stronger than expected. The euro zone GDP was 0.3 percent stronger in Q4 than Q3, better than expected, but much of the growth came from Germany, which was up 0.7 percent quarter-over-quarter. Spain also rose 0.7 percent, while France rose 0.1 percent last quarter. Italy remained flat and Greece was down 0.2 percent

Also, if a truce in the Ukraine holds, it holds out the prospects for a dialing back in Russian sanctions, which would increase trade. This seems far away, but it is moving markets.