More U.S. stocks are trading at 52- week highs than at any time since June 2007, a sign to some investors that the steepest rally in 70 years may be sustained.The CHART OF THE DAY shows the number of companies at a 52- week high on American exchanges topped 1,069 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About a year ago, 14 stocks were at that level.
“When I see new highs leading the market, it bodes well,” said John Wilson, chief technical strategist at Morgan Keegan & Co., which manages about $120 billion in Memphis, Tennessee. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see a sharp rally in the next quarter. The market is acting like it’s going to take out the recent highs.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, up 57 percent since March and within 1 percents of its 2009 peak of 1,071.66, has climbed for the past four days in the longest streak of gains in a month. Equities advanced as the government said first-time jobless claims slid to the lowest level since January, Alcoa Inc. unexpectedly reported a profit and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told investors to buy shares of large banks.
There have only been 27 days when more U.S. stocks closed at a 52-week high than yesterday, based on data since 2002 tracked by Bloomberg.