Historic High for Dow: This Could Be the Day
Will the Dow Jones Industrial Average close at an historic high today? We are being helped by China (up 2.3 percent) and by Europe, which is higher by roughly 1.5 percent across the board.
Much of the tone may be set at 10 a.m. when February ISM Services are released; the ISM manufacturing index, released last week, was stronger than expected. Expectations are for a reading of 55.0, indicating expansion.
It would be particularly sweet for Dow Theorists if the industrials closed at new highs today, since the Dow Jones Transportation Average closed at an historic high yesterday.
(Read More: Dow Industrials Break All-Time Intraday High)
1) After dropping 3.6 percent yesterday, the Shanghai Index rebounded, up 2.3 percent. The country released growth and inflation forecast targets for 2013 (7.5 percent gross domestic product and 3.5 percent Consumer Price Index). The GDP growth target is below last year's 7.8 percent, but is still inline with expectations.
By the way, at the National People's Congress, the finance ministry said it was increasing its budget deficit to increase spending on social programs. The new government wants to shift the focus of the economy toward increasing consumer spending, rather than increasing exports and infrastructure projects. This means potentially millions more middle-class consumers.
(Read More: China Puts Focus on Consumers to Drive Growth)
Europe was up as well, even though readings of the services industry continued to show contraction. Much of the attention is on the European Central Bank and Bank of England meetings on Thursday, with some expectation the ECB may lower rates and the BOE may initiate further asset purchases.
2) Google is the new Apple: I noted Monday on CNBC's "Nightly Business Report" that traders had been selling Apple to buy Google: Apple ended the day at a new low, while Google closed at an historic high. This has been going on for quite a while: Since December, Apple is down about 28 percent, while Google is up nearly 18 percent. Jeffries today raised its earnings estimates and price target for Google (to $1,000), noting growth at YouTube, in online advertising, and international expansion.
(Read More: Sell Apple, Buy Google—The Next Great Rotation?)
Apple will not sit still: Apple fans are expecting a cheaper iPhone to compete against Asian competitors ... call it an iPhone mini, the iPhone 5S, whatever. And how about a deal with China Mobile — which still does not sell the iPhone?
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani