Where We Are (First of a Series)

A friend of long-standing and keen observer of capital markets for almost a half-century tells us: “When a rising Dow hits 10,000 increments, investors feel good, even though optimism may not be justified.”

And so we find ourselves mid-second quarter of 2024 with the Dow having reached 40,000, a destination that was Shangri-La not long ago. Like that mythical city somewhere in the Tibetan mountains, no one expected to find it in the real world. Yet barely four years from its Covid-era low of 19,173 here we are.

What does this really mean for investors? As our friend Van Hesser points out in a recent podcast, it’s one of several recent bullish indicators. The US economy is motoring along nicely with expected 2.4% GDP growth this year; a Goldilocks “not-too-warm” keeping things going without igniting inflation. Unemployment is on an unprecedented streak below 4%.