The Dow Jones Industrial Average is far from the best indicator of what’s happening on Wall Street. For that you’d do better to look at the S&P 500 or Wilshire 5000. Nonetheless, it is the one everyone pays attention to, so today’s news that it passed 13,000 for the first time is getting alot of play:
NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average shot past 13,000 for the first time Wednesday as stronger-than-expected earnings reports streamed in, suggesting to investors that corporate America is successfully weathering the cooling economy.
The stock market’s best-known indicator surged past its latest milestone shortly after the opening of trading, and rose to 13,036.99 before retracing some of its steps and hovering around the 13,000 mark.
The Dow climbed to a new record as many of the country’s biggest companies surpassed analysts’ first-quarter earnings projections. Among those beating forecasts Wednesday: soft drink maker PepsiCo Inc., materials manufacturer Corning Inc. and Dow component Boeing Co.
The Dow’s climb is mirrored by other indexes as well:
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 7.86, or 0.53 percent, at 1,488.27, after reaching 1,489.18, a six-and-a-half-year high. The technology-dominated Nasdaq composite index was up 11.95, or 0.47, at 2,536.49, after hitting a six-year high of 2,537.28.
And I thought this was interesting as well:
It took the Dow just 129 trading days, since Oct. 18, to make the trek from 12,000 to 13,000, far less than the 7 1/2 years that the blue chips took to go from 11,000 to 12,000. But the swiftness of this latest trip does recall the days of the dot-com boom when the major indexes were soaring and it took the Dow a mere 24 days to barrel from 10,000 to 11,000
Of course, it fell quickly after that and took 7 1/2 years to reach the next plateau.
Unless you are work in the stock market, though, it doesn’t make much sense to worry about what the Dow, or the S&P, is at today or where it will be by the end of the year. Most of us have our stock investments in retirement accounts, so the only relevant question is……………..will the market have a higher value when I’m ready to retire than it does today ?
Historically, even factoring in the years of the Great Depression, the answer to that question has been yes. Which is why stocks and mutual funds are such a great long-term investment for most people.