U.S. stocks posted a third monthly gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index on Nov. 27. Experts attribute a few factors to the monthly increase – two of which are a stock rally from technology companies and an increase in consumer confidence.
The S&P 500 has seen a good amount of activity over the last month. Earlier this month, the S&P reached 18,000 for the first time ever. This is due to the fact it rallied 27 percent over the course of the year. Bloomberg reported that this is the biggest annual gain since 1998.
Along with reaching a significant milestone, the S&P 500 has seen an amazing comeback since the economic downturn of 2009. Experts say that The Federal Reserve's monthly stimulus plan has helped push the S&P 500 up 167 percent from 2009. Although this is an impressive increase for the economy, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told Bloomberg that he believes the economy will not show this type of growth in 2014.
"This does not have the characteristics, as far as I'm concerned, of a stock market bubble," Greenspan said. "It could come out that way but I don't see it at this stage."
Along with the S&P's historical mark, the Nasdaq Composite Index reached 4000 for the first time since 2000. Tim Speiss, head of personal wealth advisors at EisnerAmper, believes these historic numbers are due to investors taking their time and thinking out their decisions.
"A lot of investors are taking a pause, considering whether they should take gains at these levels," Speiss told Reuters. "There's not much out there that will cause significant gains or losses in the markets."
Trading is expected to remain light through the Thanksgiving holiday with an early close on Nov. 29. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,807. Although trading in S&P 500 was down 20 percent for the 30-day average, the blue chip index has shown great resolve in November by climbing 2.9 percent during the month.
Tech companies contribute to stock increase
A rally from technology companies is one of the contributors to the S&P's gain. One of the largest companies to help the technology rally was Hewlett-Packard. The California-based technology giant increased 9.6 percent after the company posted revenue and profit that exceeded original estimates. Apple was another technology company to se an increase in stocks as it gained 2 percent, the highest since January. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple hired Foxconn Technology Co. to help boost production on the wait time for the coveted iPhone 5S smartphone
A few other companies also saw increase in their sectors. Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Valero Corp. lead refiners by increasing by 3.5 percent.
Confidence among consumers increases
Along with a rally from tech companies, consumer confidence was a contributing factor to the increase of the stock market. The University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index for November was revised to 75.1. The consumer confidence index is an indicator for economist experts to gauge the confidence consumers have in the economy. November's 75.1 mark jumped from a projected index 73.5, which experts are happy to say gave a boost to the economy.
Although November has shown a good amount of growth, many experts are cautioning patience about economic growth. Eric Marshall, president and portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management told Bloomberg that the consumers should have to think through things when figuring out what to invest in.
"Things are slowly improving, confidence is coming back," he said. "Stocks may still be attractive relative to where the interest rate environment is now. Going forward, we can still get a little more multiple expansion, but not much. The real driver for stocks will be earnings."