The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 15,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday. However, despite the record-breaking nature of the even, Wall Street seems sort of unimpressed. Or bankers might just be unsurprised. The Dow had already passed the 15,000 threshold last Friday and has been flirting with the record well before Tuesday's close at 15,056. But as CNBC points out, this is one of the best stock market finishes ever with the S&P500 also finishing high and the NASDAQ moving in the right direction. Why aren't Wall Street bigwigs popping bottles and buying boats?
In an altogether encouraging fashion, a lot of bankers have become more cautious about celebrating these somewhat meaningless milestones. As The Wall Street Journal's Paul Vigna argued earlier on Tuesday, when the Dow was already on track to break the closing record, these arbitrary market events hold less technical importance than psychological value and have also become more meaningless in recent years. Vigna argues:
It's hard for most people to get excited about new highs in the stock market when they're still trying to rebuild the wealth they lost from the 2000 and 2007 stock crashes, and the housing bust. Corporate profits may have resumed their long-term trend, too, and are hitting fresh record highs, but those corporate profits aren't translating into broad wage gains (the latter being, to our minds, the best indicator right now of the nation's health).
So corporations are making more money that they're not sharing with their workers. What else is new?
Despite the details, Tuesday's Dow record is positive, encouraging news, especially when you place it into the larger context of the past five years. Just have a look at the last five years of Dow activity. Focus on the trough around the first of March 2009 and imagine a little Alpine climber going up, up and up until closing time on Tuesday. That's a good look, right?