Groupon’s Upgrade, Cliff’s Slashed Dividend, and Cisco’s Earnings: Market Recap

The S&P 500 advanced just past 15,520 points on Wednesday to close at its highest level since October 2007, simultaneously spurring optimism among bullish investors and concern from those who think the market is overbought. Many investors are looking closely at fundamental economic indicators in the wake of the President’s State of the Union address, trying to gauge how his fiscal initiatives will play out over the coming year. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported retail sales and manufacturing and trade inventories today.

At the close: DJIA: -0.26%, S&P 500: +0.06%, NASDAQ: +0.33%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell 0.38 percent to $97.14 per barrel after the EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed a 0.6 million-barrel increase in crude inventories to 372.2 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of the year. The national average price for regular gasoline for the week ended February 8 increased for the eighth consecutive period to $3.611 per gallon, a 2.5 percent year-over-year gain.

Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, falling $4.50 to settle at $1,645.10 per ounce, while Silver (NYSE:SLV) futures for March dropped 15 cents to close at $30.87. Both precious metals remain stuck in consolidation mode, despite an outlook from the United Kingdom saying inflation will remain above the 2 percent target rate for the next two years. (Read more.)

The yield on the 10-year T-Bill increased 0.050 points to 2.028 percent, flirting with levels not seen since April 2012.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories…