Dow industrials flirtation with 23,000 is a sign of the stock market’s velocity

Dow industrials flirtation with 23,000 is a sign of the stock market’s velocity

October 5, 2017 Good Reads 0 Comments

Oct 5, 2017 10:23 a.m. ET

Dow has registered 44 record closes—its most all-time high finishes in a single year since 2013

A resurgence in the so-called Trump trade has investors once again contemplating a fresh milestone for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

This time the most well known and oldest U.S. equity benchmark is set to hit 23,000 for the first time ever, notching its fourth straight 1,000 point climb over the past 12 months. That would be the largest number of such 1,000 point moves within a calendar year in the benchmark’s 120+-year history, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

The Dow DJIA, +0.15%  remains around 325 points away from the next milestone, but if it manages to clear it within the next 14 trading sessions, the blue-chip average would notch its third fastest climb to 1,000-point milestone since mid July (see table below).

To be sure, the higher the DJIA rises, the smaller each 1,000-point move is in percentage terms, but the climb to all-time highs has captured public attention, even if some market strategists and bears are concerned that valuations have gotten too lofty, too fast.

Dow milestones 1st close above that level Dow final close No. of trading days to milestone (ranking)
23,000 ? N/A ?
22,000 Aug. 2, 2017 22,016.24 107
21,000 March 1, 2017 21,115.55 24 (1)
20,000 Jan. 25, 2017 20,068.51 42 (2)
19,000 Nov. 22, 2016 19,023.87 483
18,000 Dec. 23, 2014 18,024.17 120
17,000 July 3, 2014 17,068.26 153
16,000 Nov. 21, 2013 16,009.99 139
15,000 May 7, 2013 15,056.20 1,460
14,000 July 19, 2007 14,000.41 59 (3)
13,000 March 25, 2007 13,089.89 127
12,000 Oct. 19, 2006 12,011.73 1,879
11,000 May 3, 1999 11,014.69 24 (1)
10,000 March 29, 1999 10,006.78 246
9,000 April 6, 1998 9.033.23 182
8,000 July 16, 1997 8,038.88 105
7,000 Feb. 13, 1997 7,022.44 85
6,000 Oct. 14, 1996 6,010 226
5,000 Nov. 21, 1995 5,023.55 189
4,000 Feb. 23, 1995 4,003.33 975
3,000 March 17, 1991 3,004.46 1,080
2,000 Jan. 8, 1987 2,002.25 3,573
1,000 Nov. 14, 1972 1,003.16 21,652
Source: WSJ Market Data Group

So, why is the market headed higher?

Some of the recent gain has been attributed to optimism around President Donald Trump’s tax plan. That enthusiasm centers on the belief that he will implement Wall Street-boosting measures, like deregulation and tax cuts, that will pave the way for a further clamber higher for risk assets.

Since the 2016 election, won in shocking fashion by Trump over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the Dow has climbed 24%, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.22% has advanced by about 19%, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.25% has returned about 26%, and a popular index of small companies, the Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.22% has beat its large-cap peers, jumping more than 26%. That’s as of the close of trade on Wednesday.

So far, The Dow has registered 44 record closes, marking its most all-time high finishes in a single year since 2013, when it posted 52. The S&P 500’s 41 record finishes is the most since 2014, when it booked 53 record closes, the Nasdaq has posted 52 closing peaks thus far, marking its most since the 61 it recorded in 1999. If it notches more than 63 this year, it will mark the most records in a year ever.

Slightly rosier economic indicators of late, domestically and abroad, and upbeat expectations for corporate results, even if the bar tends to be lowered, also have helped buoy equity indexes.

It is no wonder why Wall Street investors are pointing at signs of a so-called meltup in stocks, and heralding the uncanny rise of assets in every sector, region and class.

Perhaps the biggest question is how rising rates off ultralow levels, as the Federal Reserve continues to tightening monetary policy, lifting borrowing costs on individuals and companies, will eventually affect this unabated rally.

—Ken Jimenez contributed to this article
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