The Dow eclipsed 22,000 for the first time in its 121-year history on Wednesday, helped to the mark soon after the opening bell by a strong earnings report from Apple. The index fell below the mark at points during the day but closed in milestone territory at 22,016, per the AP. (The S&P 500 ticked up incrementally to 2,477 and the Nasdaq ticked down a smidge to 6,362.) The Dow's record has prompted a flood of commentary and factoids. Examples:
- Biggest gainer: Since March 1, shares of Boeing had contributed 380 points to the Dow as of Wednesday morning, more than any other company and ahead of McDonald's (171), UnitedHealth (166), Caterpillar (99), and 3M (91), per CNBC. The biggest detractor? IBM had the largest loss over the same span, 251 points.
- Dollar's role: As the Dow has risen, the US dollar has declined, losing about 10% of its value against major world currencies. The New York Times explores how the two are related, as does USA Today, which notes that a weak dollar helps big companies that do business abroad because their products are more affordable in foreign currencies.
- Trump's start: The Dow's close above 22,000 means that it has risen 20% in the 183 trading days since Election Day, per the Wall Street Journal. For a new president, that's second only to George HW Bush (171 days) and ahead of Barack Obama (537), George W. Bush (1,626), and Bill Clinton (308).
- Hold the applause: At MarketWatch, Rex Nutting argues that the cheerleading over the Dow's rise is overblown, given that most Americans don't own very many shares. The rise helps the richest Americans, while the young in particular are out of luck. "I bought my first shares for my retirement account back in the 1970s, so I've benefited from the incredible gains since then," he writes. "But my children are buying high, not low."
- Warning signs: At MoneyWatch, Anthony Mirhaydari is worried about weak economic fundamentals in regard to personal income growth, manufacturing, US auto sales, consumer sentiment, and more. As for this current surge: "Enjoy it while it lasts."
- Why the rise? President Trump has been touting the surging Dow for a while now, and a post at Barron's suggests he's due some of the credit. He and the GOP "have campaigned on business-friendly policies such as a lower corporate tax rate and softer regulations," writes Nicholas Jasinski. "If successfully implemented, investors believe that corporate earnings will increase." Also at play: low unemployment, low interest rates, and the aforementioned weak dollar.
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