Despite ending the month on a down note, markets and exchange traded funds continued to rally through February, with the broader markets returning to the 2011 highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the month up 2.4%, and even crossed over the pivotal 13,000 mark. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 4.0% and remains firmly above its 1,350 resistance level. The Nasdaq Composite also crossed the 3,000 level for the first time since the dot-com bust, adding 5.5% for the month.
The markets rallied on improving economic indicators: manufacturing numbers were better, jobs numbers gained at a steadier pace, existing home sales were better-than-expected and consumer sentiment is recovering.
Also contributing to the lower market volatility is that the possibility of a Greece default has been largely abated. Demand for safe-haven Treasuries is easing as the markets see a risk-on sentimentality.
Nevertheless, the markets ended the month on a sour note, following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s lukewarm overview of the U.S. economy and the lack of a definitive quantitative easing measure.