The stock market already hit an all-time high, by this measure

Many traders sound bent out of shape about the stock market nearing a new record.

“From a valuation standpoint, investors are playing with fire,” grouses Acting Man blogger Pater Tenebrarum.

If you’re part of this unhappy gang, here’s one possible consolation: The SP 500

SPX, -0.49%

already has set a record, if you look at a more inclusive version of that key benchmark.

The record setter is the SP 500 Total Return Index

SPXT, -0.48%

— which includes dividends and arguably better represents what you actually get when you “buy the index.”

The total return index has clambered to an all-time high this week, as shown in a chart below that’s linked to our call of the day.

This call — taken from IG’s Chris Weston — says “now is not the time to short” the SP 500, given bullish signals such as the total return index’s new record, commodities roaring higher and earnings beating forecasts. Read on below for more from Weston.

But as ever, it’s not hard to find angry or skeptical analysts holding hard to their bearish takes on the SP 500. Just take a look at our chart of the day.

Meanwhile, today’s quote seeks to explain all that rage.

Key market gauges


YMM6, -0.63%

 and SP futures

ESM6, -0.57%

 have been little changed after a three-day advance. Oil

CLM6, -1.83%

 has been struggling for direction after settling yesterday at another 2016 record. European stocks

SXXP, -0.33%

 have stayed in the red as a European Central Bank news conference unfolds, while the euro

EURUSD, -0.0708%

 has jumped. Asia closed mostly up, with the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.66%

 bucking the positive trend. Gold

GCM6, -0.41%

has been gaining as a key dollar index

DXY, +0.05%


The call


The SP is facing downside risks, but the overall backdrop now suggests short sellers shouldn’t bet against the index, writes IG’s Weston in a note.

He says supportive factors at the moment include the SP 500 Total Return Index scoring a record, as shown in the chart above. (OK, maybe you did notice that move already, thanks to folks pointing it out here and there.)

Weston stresses that U.S. banks “are flying” and Asian markets are “breaking out.” Bulk commodities and oil are also gaining, Weston notes.

“This can’t go on forever, but it’s a freight train, and not one I am prepared to get in front of,” he says, referring to commodities climbing.

First-quarter earnings generally have been beating low expectations, and there’s the position of the regular SP index itself. The SP 500 is standing just a little more than 1% from a new all-time high, and that “can’t be seen as anything other than bullish,” Weston says.

The quote
Getty Images

“I’m trying to remember a time in which stocks were on the verge of a breakout and people were so angry about it. … I think a lot of this stems from the seeming disconnect between a sluggish economy and record high stocks.

“Another component of it is the anxiousness that people feel so soon after it looked like a full-blown bear market could be upon us.” — Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker suggests “don’t get mad, get disciplined.”

The chart

Looking back decades, the SP is showing another break in trend that is “unhappily similar to what occurred in 2000 and 2007,” says Cornerstone Macro’s Carter Braxton Worth, as he shares the chart above.

The bearish technical analyst on Wednesday put on a webinar titled “The Great Seduction,” offering plenty of scary charts like this one.

The buzz

George Soros says China’s debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007 or 2008, Bloomberg reports. The billionaire investor has blasted China before.

Stocks likely to move on earnings during today’s session include AmEx

AXP, +1.30%

 , Qualcomm

QCOM, -1.00%

 , Mattel

MAT, -6.70%

 and Yum

YUM, -0.99%

 , which all reported late yesterday.


PHM, -0.47%

 , Travelers

TRV, -6.30%

 , Biogen

BIIB, +4.74%

 , Under Armour

UA, +7.74%

 , GM

GM, +1.26%

 and Verizon

VZ, -4.24%

 have all posted results before the open.

Earnings from Alphabet

GOOG, +0.56%

GOOGL, +0.53%

, Microsoft

MSFT, +0.39%

 , Starbucks

SBUX, -0.16%

and Visa

V, -0.26%

 are on tap after the close.

“Do you really want to buy ‘Hillary stocks?’” asks Barron’s.

President Obama is wrapping up a visit to Saudi Arabia today, then heading to the U.K., where he’s expected to argue against a “Brexit.”


BLK, -0.89%

 — the world’s biggest asset manager — is getting what it wants in Washington, a Wall Street Journal report says.

The economy

Mario Draghi and his ECB colleagues are getting attention, thanks to his news conference that’s underway after the bank kept rates unchanged.

Follow our live blog: Tough questions for the ECB’s Mario Draghi

In U.S. economic news, weekly jobless claims were encouraging, falling to a 42-year low, but the Philly Fed index disappointed.

The stat
The Economist

90 — That’s how old Queen Elizabeth II is today. But one U.K. magazine, The Economist, is celebrating her birthday by pointing out she’s not the longest-reigning living monarch, trotting out the chart above. Thailand’s king is also apparently richer, with his $30 billion, plus more autocratic.

Read more: Queen Elizabeth turns 90, with $29 billion to her name

Random reads

Speaking of the royals, there is a “Marry Harry” class.

The Internet is brimming with tributes to a pro wrestler who just died: #RIPChyna

Did you know we may be facing a global banana crisis?

Curt Schilling fired by ESPN after his anti-transgender remarks, as the U.K. warns against visiting certain Southern states.

Countdown to the Rio Olympics began with a torch lighting in Greece.

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