SAN FRANCISCO -- As compelling as the battle over recovering AIG (AIG - Get Report) executive bonuses might be, it clearly has nothing to do with investors' increasing willingness to pay higher prices for stocks.
While Wednesday's session may have received a little help from the Federal Reserve, the market's most bullish run of 2009 -- the S&P 500 is now up 20% since its March 6 intraday lows -- looks as intact as ever.
For the rest of the month, the watch is on to see how a relatively light corporate news flow and the end-of-quarter performance push will affect the momentum of stocks, which this day touched some nice, round numbers -- 800 on the S&P and Dow 7500.
And let's not forget 1500 for the Nasdaq. With a Wednesday close of 1488, the index is now down just 5.6% in 2009, giving tech investors hope that another push higher could actually have the Nasdaq above water in a matter of days.The tech index was helped by IBM's (IBM - Get Report) purported plans to buy Sun Microsystems (JAVA), boosting the prey's market cap by nearly $3 billion. But tech's outperformance of the broader market has been the standard this year, and the IBM-Sun news merely highlights the effect of the strength in tech stocks, rather than being the cause. The major giants in the sector, IBM, Cisco (CSCO - Get Report), Apple (AAPL - Get Report), Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Google (GOOG), to name just a few, are awash in cash. This isn't a bad affliction for weathering a recession, and it certainly comes in handy when it's time to buy struggling companies that can open up new markets.