What our stockholders, all oil barons, the news media and our government is trying to tell you is,
If you want gas, oil diesel and gasoline prices to stay around $2.00 a gallon, stop saving a fortune by buying alternative energy and alternative power!
STEVE ROTHWELL AP Markets Writer-NEW YORK
A slight gain was enough to push the stock market to a record high Friday.
Stocks climbed as a rebound in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher. A report showing faster-than-forecast growth in Europe at the end of last year also boosted investor sentiment.
Investors were also picking over the latest earnings news. CBS gained after strong advertising revenue boosted its earnings. V.F. Corporation, a clothing company whose brands include Vans, Wrangler and Timberland, jumped after giving an upbeat outlook for the year.
Stocks have surged in February, rebounding from a January slump, as recovering oil prices have boosted energy stocks. Growing corporate earnings and the announcement of more stimulus from the European Central Bank to boost growth in the region have also helped turn around investor sentiment this month.
“Stability seems to be coming back,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Overall, I think the market is going to go higher … but it may be a case of two steps forward, one step back.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 8.51 points to 2,096.99. That surpassed the previous record close of 2,090.57 set Dec. 29.
About three-quarters of the companies in the S&P 500 index have now reported results for the fourth quarter, and earnings for the period are projected to rise by 7.5 percent. While that is a decline from growth of 10.4 percent in the previous quarter, it’s better than analysts were expecting at the start of December.
This month’s sharp gains are making some analysts cautious on stocks.
The price-earnings ratio for next year’s earnings for S&P 500 companies is at 17.1, the highest level in more than a decade. The measure is a gauge of how much investors are willing to pay for a company’s earnings.
“Watch those valuation levels very carefully,” said James Liu, Global Market Strategist for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.