If you’re wondering the catalyst behind the stock market trading in the green today, you might want to thank the First Lady of the United States. Melania Trump rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange today, and the stock market, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, thus far is taking her advice to Be Best. The major indices are trading fractionally higher in light of the latest headwinds stemming from a spiraling European economy and the collapse of tour company Thomas Cook.
In the U.S., stocks including Nike, McDonald’s, and Procter & Gamble are leading the Dow Jones higher. With earnings season set to get underway in October, the stocks buoying the S&P 500 close to another all-time high include Ulta Beauty, Tractor Supply, and Baker Hughes. While the major indices may be up fractionally today, the stock market has advanced approximately 20% year-to-date, outpacing other indices around the world including Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average and the German DAX.
Melania Trump rang the bell alongside a group of students from the United Nations International School under the banner of her Be Best campaign, the logo for which was featured on screens throughout the trading floor. She’s not the maiden First Lady to ring the NYSE bell, with Laura Bush doing the honors a couple of times and Hillary Clinton doing so as Secretary of State.
Stock Market Bull Thomas Lee Predicts S&P 500 4,500 by Year-End 2021
The S&P 500 is now trading at 2,996, just points away from all-time high territory of roughly 3,025. Fundstrat Co-Founder Thomas Lee is ratcheting up his S&P 500 index bullish prediction, attaching a 4,500 target on the index by year-end 2021, U.S./China trade war risks notwithstanding.
Not all stock market strategists are looking at the stock market through the same rose-colored glasses, however. Bernstein Investment Research analyst Inigo Fraser-Jenkins reportedly expects the S&P 500 to remain in the 4,000 range for a decade while the same firm’s Alla Harmsworth attaches an 8,000-range prediction on the index in the same time period. For now, the stock market is taking Melania Trump’s advice to Be Best, but only time will tell how long that will last.