After twenty trading days, the U.S. stock market (as defined by the S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY)) has moved a whopping point and a half. Yippee.
During those twenty days though - a span that encompassed all but one session for the month of March - there was a great deal of fretting about Russia (NYSE: RSX), the Fed, interest rates, China, and the weather.
During those twenty days the high flying mo-mo stocks in areas such as Biotech (NYSE: XBI), Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: XPH), Internet (NYSE: FDN) and Social Media (NASDAQ: SOCL) took it on the chin.
And during those twenty days, the bears tried to convince anyone willing to listen that a market calamity was just around the corner.
And yet, here we are with the S&P 500 a mere 0.3 percent away from its all-time high. So what gives?
Cutting to the chase, the recent romp back to near all-time high territory was sponsored by a couple of headlines. One suggested that Janet Yellen is as dovish as ever. And the other contended that the situation in Russia, at least as far as the stock market is concerned, is all but over.
But before we get to the headlines the produced Monday's triple-digit joyride to the upside, let's review how we got here.
First There Was Cold War 2.0
While the month of March started off favoring the bulls, Russia's decision to first intervene in Crimea and then annex the former Soviet state (which, for the record had only been part of Ukraine for something like 24 years) put fears of another Cold War (or worse) with Russia on the table.
Suddenly there were worries about oil supplies. And then once people figured out that an awful lot of that oil usually winds up in Europe, the global macro geniuses began to hype the idea that an interruption in the flow of oil was sure to push the fragile Eurozone economy back into the abyss.
Then there was the "invasion" of Crimea. On the surface, this had the look and feel of Iraq's incursion into Kuwait in 1990, which, of course, brought visions of severe market declines into the heads of ...More...