There have been a number of positive signals for the markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) in recent weeks. But Wall Street seems especially cheered by the S&P 500’s crossing of the 1,000-point threshold for the first time since last year. What does it all mean?

What finally sent the index over the top?

  • Ford (F) numbers are up 2% in July year-over-year and Subaru predicts a 30% increase in sales. The program’s goal was to get 10 million in new car sales, which could help bring GM and Chrysler back out of the red to break even.
  • Construction spending continued to rise in June for the third consecutive month.

All the good news helped push the S&P 500 past the 1,000 mark, a point last seen in fall of 2008. Economist Diane Swonk sees that the previous “Armageddon” mindset has abated and investors are no longer comparing the markets to that of the Great Depression. Firms are beginning to provide guidance and some future outlook.

There are a number of ways investors can play this move, including ETFs that divide up the S&P 500 into sectors or asset classes:

  • SPDRs S&P 500 (SPY): up 11% year-to-date

ETF SPY

  • iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV): up 12.8% year-to-date

ETF SPY

For more information on the S&P 500, visit our S&P 500 category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.