Markets went out on session highs Wednesday with the leading Nasdaq showing the way. It gained .3% and is now higher almost 12% YTD. If that double digit percentage gain holds for 2014 it would be the third consecutive year. Since 1975 that has happened on 3 occasions first between 1978-80 when the index rose 12.3, 28.1 and 33.9%. In 1981 it lost 3.2%. Then again from 1991-93 it rose 56.8, 15.4 and 14.7% before falling 3.2% in 1994. Then in a 5 year melt up period between 1995-99 the benchmark rose 39.9, 22.7, 21.6, 39.6 then a huge 85.6% in 1999 before losing 39.3, 21 and 31.5% in 2000-02. Going into the latter part of the week the tech rich Nasdaq is up 1% and striving for a 4th consecutive weekly gain as is the S&P 500. Utilities really took it on the chin Wednesday as the group as a whole lost 1.7%. While many heavyweights in the group went out on their lows, like an EXC which fell 4.3%, or a PEG which dropped 3%, focus on lesser followed names that displayed some muscle today and fought back to close near highs. Some names would include a WTR or ATO. Both of those aforementioned names fell in less than average daily volume, whereas EXC and PEG were lower in heavy trade. ATO is just below all time highs and on a current 6 week winning streak and sports a nice dividend yield of 2.9%. WTR closed right back at its prior breakout trigger from a cup base of 26.39.
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