Daily Data Flow: S&P Nears All-Time High; Politics Holding United States Back; Nikkei at 4-1/2-Year Peak

S&P 500 Nears All-Time High (Bloomberg)
Just a few days after the Dow began topping its all-time best, today the S&P 500 got very near its record peak. In addition, market volatility sat at its lowest point in about six years. ???The path of least resistance continues to be higher,??? Jordan Irving, of Irving Magee Investment Management in Philadelphia, said. ???The latest batch of economic data out of the U.S. was okay. If you???re lagging you might want to try to get a little juice in there to catch up.???

“Political Storms” Holding Country Back (CNBC)
In a letter to shareholders today, GE CEO Jeff Immelt warned, “The amount of regulation tends to grow during periods of financial strain and we are certainly seeing that in the U.S.” He continued, “The number of ‘major regulations’???regulations with more than $100 million in impact???has exploded in the last few years. The result has been an additional burden on business. Until we solve for these constraints, it is hard to see that the U.S. will return to its full growth potential.”

Nikkei Hits 4-1/2-Year Peak (Reuters)
On the back of the weakened yen and the rebound occurring in the United States, the Nikkei reached its highest point in four and a half years today. The aforementioned positives, in addition to hopes for monetary easing from the Bank of Japan, encouraged investors to buy financials and exporters. Expectations for the next fiscal year’s earnings are positive, so investors are chasing the market higher,” said Makoto Kikuchi, the chief executive of Myojo Asset Management.