The VIX did everyone a favor yesterday by rising on a day when it was more up and than down. Today, on a stormy day in the northeast, the three major indices all made record highs. The DOW was up 118 to close at 20,172. The NASDAQ finished 32 points higher at 5,715 and the S&P 500 jumped to a new all-time peak of 2,307 by adding 13 points today.

The markets started out moderately higher and accelerated as the morning moved ahead. Ironically, it wasn’t the recent high-flying leaders that were at the head of the charge such as AAPL, FB and NFLX. These companies basically took the day off. NVDA eased down a bit ahead of its report tonight. On the other hand, MSFT, which has done poorly since its good earnings a few weeks ago, woke up today. AMZN surged a little for the third day in a row after its poor earnings report last week.

The DOW was led once again by the financials. GS, WFC, BAC, and JPM did well. NKE, one of the real losers of the past couple of years, and WMT gained nicely today along with other retailers like COST, SBUX, and TIF. The retailers sure had a rare day in the sun today including JWN…higher for the second day after the President’s daughter’s clothing line was removed following poor sales.

Helping to move things higher were the Treasury yields that were up today. The 10-year Note was at 2.38% as the President said that a tax reduction plan is on the way. This is also made the dollar stronger with the Euro at 1.065 and the Japanese yen at 113.25. Gold was off a little to $1,229 an ounce and crude oil gained a bit to $53.12 today. This crude oil price movement is also considered friendly for stocks as it helps stabilize the oil companies.

Weekly jobless claims declined by 12,000 down to 234,000. This is close to a 43-year low and it is also helping the perception that the economy is doing well.Earnings for the third-quarter were higher by almost 3%…finally breaking the five straight quarters of negative profits.

Donald M. Selkin

These are excerpts from Don Selkin’s Daily Market Notes, abbreviated and updated with permission from the author. Don Selkin is the Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and provides the Fair Value analysis for CNBC each morning.  The commentary provided in this Market Letter is intended to provide timely market analysis and should not be considered a research report.  This Market Letter may contain, and is limited to: Discussions of broad based indices; Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions; Technical analyses concerning the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based in trading volume and price; Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings; and, Recommendations regarding increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or securities.  This Market Letter does not make a financial or investment recommendation or otherwise promotes a product or service of the firm.   This Market Letter contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.  These news sources include the following: Bloomberg Financial, Reuters, and the Associated Press.