The bulls are charging in

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Snow covers the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York, December 17, 2020.

Jeenah Moon | Reuters

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Hot markets
U.S. markets continued their winning streak Tuesday, with major indexes approaching historical highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average scaled a new peak, while the S&P 500‘s just 0.6% away from surpassing its record close in January 2022. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.36%, led by travel and leisure companies, which added 1.7%.

Failed delivery
FedEx shares sank more than 9% in extended trading after the company said it expects its revenue for the fiscal year to decline by a low single digit. That’s below FedEx’s initial forecast for sales to remain flat year over year, and likely worse than analysts’ expectation of less than a 1% drop in revenue. The company’s adjusted earnings per share for the current quarter also disappointed.

Big detour
Danish shipping giant Maersk confirmed that all vessels that were scheduled to travel via the Red Sea — and currently on hold because of attacks by Houthi militants — would take the Cape of Good Hope route around the south of Africa. So far, shippers have diverted about than $35 billion worth of cargo away from the Red Sea, raising concerns of pressures on global supply chains.

Higher holiday spending
Americans are planning to spend $1,300 this holiday, 31% higher than last year, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey. Among those spending more, 32% say it’s because they’re paid more or have higher incomes. Despite that, 80% of respondents view the economy as fair or poor — highlighting the schism between robust economic data and downbeat economic sentiment.

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The bottom line

You can almost hear the bulls charging in. In June, the S&P 500 rose 20% from its lows, causing many to claim the start of a new bull market. But the ostensible bull market then was still missing a crucial ingredient: Setting a new high.

Six months later, that’s where the markets are headed. The S&P rose 0.59% Tuesday to close at 4,768.37, putting it just 0.6% away from its record close in January 2022.

Investors appear to be anticipating all-time highs. Or perhaps “anticipating” is too mild a word — they seem to be clamoring to be part of that historical event. The SPDR S&P 500 Trust, an ETF that tracks the broad-based index, reported inflows of more than $20 billion on Monday.

“While we can’t say there is a clear correlation between significant inflows and performance, that size is notable and perhaps speaks to a ‘get me in’ mentality?” wrote BTIG technical strategist Jonathan Krinsky.

And if the S&P does indeed notch a new high in the upcoming days (and it seems more likely than not), there’s a good chance the index could rally even further, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

“Essentially, we have seen every move above that prior bear market level to be positive,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “It’s not as if we then just turned right around immediately and ended up selling off.”

The other major indexes had a good day as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.68%, continuing its streak of setting fresh highs, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.66% to close above the 15,000 level for the first time since January 2022.

“This bias of buying stocks is taking hold,” said Kim Forrest, founder at Bokeh Capital Partners. “And unless news changes it, we’re probably going to drift higher every single day because of it.”

It seems the metaphorical bulls (and a literal one!) are, indeed, taking the street by storm.



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