NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 4, 2013) - A string of positive economic data helped propel the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 Index to five-year highs. On January 25th, the S&P 500 Index closed above the 1,500 mark for the first time since 2007. "The bottom line is that corporate America is doing exceptionally well," said JPMorgan global market strategist, Joe Tanious. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on JDS Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ: JDSU) and Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI).
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A steadily improving U.S. housing market combined with a 5-year low in jobless claims has helped boost investor optimism heading into 2013. Earlier this month the Labor Department reported initial claims for unemployment benefits declined 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 335,000, which was the largest weekly drop in nearly 2 years. Strong earnings from major companies such as Alcoa, General Electric and Proctor & Gamble have also contributed to the market's recent surge. Collectively, companies in the S&P 500 Index are projected to report a 3.8% earnings growth in the fourth quarter, according to S&P's Capital IQ.
"The economy is entering the year maybe not with a running start, but certainly a head start," Jack Ablin, BMO Private Bank's chief investment officer, said in a recent telephone interview, according to Bloomberg. "It helps build a nice story for 2013."
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JDS Uniphase is a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products. Shares of the company rose sharply Thursday after reporting strong results for the fiscal second quarter. The company posted a net income of $4.1 million in the second quarter, compared with a net loss of $11.6 million in the year ago quarter.
Pitney Bowes provides technology solutions for small, mid-size and large firms that help them connect with customers to build loyalty and grow revenue. The company reported revenue of $1.3 billion and adjusted EPS of $0.56 for the fourth quarter of 2012, topping analysts' expectations of $1.28 billion in revenues and EPS of $0.51 per share.
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