Nov 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Tracking the Dow's road to 30,000

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

It took 218 trading days for the Dow to hit the latest 1,000-point milestone.

Why it matters: Dow 30K is a purely symbolic milestone. The Dow hitting 30,001, for instance, is no less significant.

  • It does underscore the stock market's meteoric rise since hitting its pandemic-low almost exactly 8 months ago, when it closed at 18,321. It's up 62% since then.

How we got here: The stock market defied a never-before-seen pandemic that's infected millions around the globe, killed hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., and left the economy in shambles.

  • Fed & fiscal: Stocks have been turbocharged by central bank support and a massive stimulus package that’s since dried up.
  • Big Tech: A handful of tech companies — including Amazon and Apple — lead the bulk of the market rebound.
  • Earnings: Corporate earnings in some cases are better than before the pandemic — though Q3 profits are still on pace for a year-over-year plunge.
  • Gridlock: Wall Street cheered the prospect of a divided Congress.
  • Vaccine: Interim trial results from a number of vaccines show a high rate of efficacy — and presented the prospect of a quicker return to normalcy.

The result has been near-total risk-on mode, making other assets like bonds less attractive in the eyes of some than stocks.

The bottom line: "More significantly for investors, the broader market as measured by the S&P 500 also hit a record high," Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride said in a note. "But ‘3635’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it."

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