Dow 20,000 Hysteria

As a continuation of what I started yesterday, I figured it would be a good day to try and get back into this writing thing. So my plan this month will be to write something daily about whatever strikes me as important, and with all the craziness in our world right now, I don’t anticipate running short of topics, but expect me to touch on a variety of things that aren’t all about what is happening in Washington, DC.

Something really irritated me last week. A stock index — or more accurately an “average” — crossed a meaningless plateau that means absolutely nothing about the state of our economy and the performance of our stock market. Yet when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossed 20,000, all of financial media lost their collective minds, and a lot of armchair financial pundits claimed that it reflected on “investor confidence in the economic policy of President Donald Trump.” (I put that in quotes, not because I found that particular phrase in any article that I read, but because I know that somebody used that phrase in an article celebrating this truly nothing event.)

For the average American, the DJIA represents the stock market, a number that the local news reports on every night after the stock market closes. But it really doesn’t. If you look at the history of the DJIA — something I did back in my days as a financial writer — it started out as a means to track the “leading U.S. industrial companies of the late 19th century.” But if you take a look at the list of companies now figured into this average looks a lot less industrial, instead reflecting more of the “new economy” companies that drive our economic engine. Continue reading “Dow 20,000 Hysteria”