The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

February 1, 2013

Dow hits 14,000 for 1st time since October 2007

NEW YORK —  The Dow stock market index flirted with the 14,000 line Friday, dashing above it several times throughout the morning and bringing reminders of the last time it hit that mark — almost a different era, before the financial crisis rocked the world economy.

After rising steadily in early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average briefly crossed 14,000 shortly after 10 a.m. EST. It lasted only a moment. Then, after 11 a.m., it started flitting above that key mark again before falling back to around 13,990. The other major stock indexes were also up, pushed higher by the U.S. jobs report and auto sales.

Crossing 14,000 is a rarefied event: The Dow has done so only 15 times in its history, and the last time was more than five years ago, on Oct. 17, 2007.

If the gains hold throughout the day and the Dow closes above 14,000, that would put it in territory even more uncommon. On just nine days has the Dow managed to stay above the 14,000 mark until the end of trading. Friday's gains also mean that the Dow is within striking distance of its all-time record of 14,164.53, which it reached on Oct. 9, 2007.

For the average investor, that was all back when the stock market still seemed like a party. Housing prices were starting to ebb but hadn't cratered. Jobs were abundant, with unemployment at 4.7 percent — compared to 7.9 percent now. Lehman Brothers still existed. So did Bear Stearns, Wachovia and Washington Mutual.

To be sure, the Dow is only one indicator of the economy. And while crossing 14,000 would be an important psychological milestone, it wouldn't be much else.

The Dow is an index of 30 big companies, and its purpose is to represent how the broader stock market is faring. But the stock market is more a representation of how traders are feeling about the economy than the economy's underlying fundamentals. And many investors don't even think the Dow is the best way to track the market: They prefer the much bigger Standard & Poor's benchmark index, which follows 500 companies.

Joe Gordon, managing partner at Gordon Asset Management in North Carolina, wasn't celebrating. He doesn't expect the gains to hold. The fact that small investors are finally getting back in the stock market, he said, makes him think that stocks are due for a downturn. After the Dow hit its all-time record in 2007, it fell almost steadily and had lost nearly 40 percent of its value a year later.

"It is good trivia to talk about on television and the radio," Gordon said, referring to the 14,000 mark. "It's meaningless to the average professional." And for workers still unemployed by the financial crisis, he said, "it really means nothing to them."

Late morning, the Dow was up 134 points to 13,995. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 14 to 1,512. The Nasdaq composite index was up 31 to 3,173.

Auto sales helped. Toyota, Ford, GM and Chrysler all reported double-digit gains for January.

The government jobs report that pushed stocks forward was mixed, but traders chose to focus on the positive. The U.S. said it added 157,000 jobs in January, which was in line with expectations. Unemployment inched up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December. But, encouragingly, the government also reported that hiring over the past two years has been higher than it originally thought.

The jobs number is based on a survey of employers, and the unemployment rate is based on a separate survey of households, which is why they can diverge.

In Europe, tentative and incremental signs of a recovery were enough to push up stocks in France, Britain and Germany. December unemployment in the European Union was lower than analysts had feared, inflation unexpectedly fell, and a survey raised hopes of some growth in the manufacturing sector.

But there were also reminders that the debt problem is far from solved. The Netherlands was also forced to take over one of its major banks, to try to stave off a collapse. In Greece, dock workers extended a strike over the government's spending cuts.

Among companies making big moves:

— Drugmaker Merck fell 3 percent, down $1.28 to $41.97. Its fourth-quarter profit suffered because of competition from generic medicines against its blockbuster allergy drug Singulair.

— Insurance company MetLife rose 2 percent, or 75 cents, to $38.09, after saying it plans to buy the largest private pension fund administrator in Chile.

— Zoetis, an animal health business that Pfizer just spun off, made its debut on the stock market. It was up 18 percent, rising $4.75 to $30.75.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • His 101st birthday present? Another day at work

    Herman "Hy" Goldman turned 101 this weekend and won't quit after 73 years working at the same New Jersey job.

    August 20, 2014

  • No photos: Parents opt to keep babies off Facebook

    Behold the cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook. It all makes Sonia Rao, a stay-at-home mother of a 1-year-old in Mountain View, California, "a little uncomfortable."

    August 20, 2014

  • Ring, ring: London statues want to talk to you

    Calling all London tourists: Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes and Queen Victoria want to have a word with you.

    August 19, 2014

  • Less shake from artificial quakes, fed study says

    Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found.

    August 19, 2014

  • How can authorities restore order in Ferguson?

    They've lined the streets with police in riot gear, brought in a new black commander with an empathetic manner, imposed a curfew, lifted it and deployed the National Guard — and still the violence erupts nightly in the town of Ferguson, Missouri.

    August 19, 2014

  • Indiana told to honor other states' gay marriages

    A federal judge has ruled Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states but says the ruling doesn't take effect until the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the matter.

    August 19, 2014

  • Death penalty sought in Indy officer's slaying

    A prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against the man accused of fatally shooting an Indianapolis police officer with an assault rifle.

    August 19, 2014

  • Colts safety seeing specialists about neck injury

    Colts safety Delano Howell is seeing another specialist to determine the extent of his neck injury, and general manager Ryan Grigson says he hopes to know more before the end of this week.

    August 19, 2014

  • Teens arrested in plot after Internet activities eyed

    Two high school students suspected of plotting a school massacre in a Los Angeles suburb were arrested after investigators monitored their Internet activities and determined they presented a real threat, police said Tuesday.

    August 19, 2014

  • Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

    Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

    August 19, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How often do you think local government units in the Madison County area violate open door laws?

All the time
Frequently
Sometimes
Never
Not sure
     View Results