Dow 36,000: Blue-chip gauge takes another run at milestone

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was on track to close above 36,000 Tuesday, a day after it briefly topped the milestone for the first time ever.

1,000-point milestones don’t carry much significance in terms of market fundamentals or even technicals, but some analysts contend they are at least symbolically important as the bull-market recovery from the pandemic-induced bear market of spring 2020 steams on.

“The Dow 36,000 milestone comes almost one year after the Dow crossed 30,000, and suggests the bull market is still intact, although we are in the later stages of the bull market,” said Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management, in emailed remarks after the Dow ticked above the barrier early Monday.

The move also put a spotlight on a 1999 book, “Dow 36,000”, that had predicted stocks would quadruple within a few years.

The Dow was up around 154 points, or 0.4% late Tuesday, near 36,068 and is up nearly 18% for the year to date. The large-cap S&P 500 also traded at a record high Tuesday and is up more than 23% in the year to date, while the Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.1% and also hit an intraday record, leaving it around 21% higher for the year.

It has been 71 trading days since the Dow last cleared a 1,000-point milestone, marking the longest stretch between milestones since the stretch of 218 trading days between the Dow’s move between 29,000 and 30,000 completed in November of last year, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

A close above 36,000 would mark the Dow’s sixth 1,000-point milestone of 2021, the most ever seen in a single year. Obviously, however, such moves are less impressive on a percentage basis the higher the Dow climbs. The move between 35,000 and 36,000 marks a mere 2.9% rise.

Dow Jones Market Data noted that Inc. has been the biggest contributor to the Dow’s rise since 35,000, while Visa Inc. has been the biggest drag.

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