The best way to analyze a rally is to look at which stocks are powering it. My method is to watch the stocks most responsible for the gains in the S&P 500 because that shows the real drivers -- the real stocks behind the moves.
We are in fabulous shape today, and this is one gorgeous rally. Let's go over the top 10 stocks moving this S&P over the top. 1. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) has not participated in the upside of late as it has been held back by a perception that the oil rally off the $30s isn't for real. Now a combination of a weakened dollar, a shut-in of production and low gasoline prices spurring demand is making Exxon a huge part of the percentage gain. 2. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is the most important stock in the market because we need a bank strong enough to buy toxic assets and take advantage of the FDIC's desire to sell failed banks. I have said over and over again that we need to ring-fence some successful banks and allow them to thrive. During the height of the bank nationalization period -- a period we have finally obliterated -- this company's stock faltered, no doubt aided by a huge amount of naked shorting. It is really the key to the next 2,000 points of this rally and given the coordinated financial branch of the government plans, including the bank rescue plan, it is easy to see that JPMorgan could run many more points. 3. Two weeks ago, Wells Fargo ( WFC) was a bank that the market had decided was going to get nationalized because of its gigantic mortgage portfolio that seemed to be getting worse by the hour. But if California real estate is selling like hotcakes when it declines 50% and mortgage rates are very low -- and when housing is close to bottoming -- you are going to want to own Wells Fargo, not short it. Again, Wells Fargo has assets that could be sold and does best where the yield curve is right now. The Fed's moves and the mortgage modification plan will transform this back into a bank blue-chip fortress again. Existing home sales numbers that came out today cheer me up and should do the same for you if you own this stock as I do for Action Alerts PLUS .