The question is whether having a badly constructed, information-poor stock market index achieve a round-number milestone has any significance.
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Dow. But I am of two minds:
–On the one hand, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is what we’re talking about, has been around for a very long time. It has somehow deflected all attempts over my investing career to replace it in the media with an index that’s more useful, like the S&P 500. So there’s at least a vague association in the public’s mind between Dow achievements and general economic prosperity.
–On the other, the minute you hear a media pundit use the Dow to interpret the ebb and flow of stocks in general, you know he’s clueless.
The best I can say is that if the Dow can remain higher than 20,000, doing so will have some small positive psychological value. So I’ll take it.