Now that the Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 13,000, an all-time high is in sight — just 1,160 points away. But the path won’t be smooth for the stock market or the economy.
The Dow’s final push above the milestone came from a report that Americans feel better about the economy than they have in a year, The Associated Press reported.
But other economic data Tuesday were more grim: Orders for big-ticket factory goods dropped by the most in three years, mainly because the government withdrew a key tax subsidy. And home prices are stuck at 2002 levels.
“I don’t think 13,000 guarantees 14,000,” said John Manley, chief equity strategist for the Wells Fargo funds group. “I do think there still is a lot of skepticism about the short term.”
The next big test comes March 9, when the government releases the number of jobs added by the country in February and updates the unemployment rate.
For a day, though, Wall Street could savor something it hadn’t seen since May 2008, before the bailouts, bank failures and millions of layoffs of the Great Recession — Dow 13,000.
The Dow last closed above 13,000 on May 19, 2008, almost four months before the fall of the Lehman Brothers investment bank triggered the worst of the financial crisis.
On Tuesday, it just cleared the mark — 13,005.12, up 23.61 points for the day.