Dow surpasses 20,000 milestone for first time

Traders wearing Dow 20,000 hats work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the opening bell on Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

NEW YORK CITY, Jan. 25 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke the 20,000 milestone for the first time shortly after the stock market opened Wednesday morning.

The Dow surpassed the barrier after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and rose 137.24 points after one hour of trading to 20,049.95. It’s the highest in the NYSE’s 120-year history.

The index of 30 stocks, best-known as blue chip companies, was led by Boeing (up 3.44 percent) and IBM (1.55 percent).

The Dow rose from 19,000 to 20,000 in 64 calendar days. This was the second-fastest 1,000-point barrier jump, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. In 1999, the index jumped from 10,000 to 11,000 in 35 days.

“It’s a nice mile marker,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Financial Partners, told USA Today.

Since Donald Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, the Dow has risen 1,700 points.

In March 2009, two months after Barack Obama took office, the Dow was at 6,440.

“The economy has come a long way in eight years. Overall, it’s a healthier economy and does justify a much higher stock market than eight years ago,” David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, told CNN.

Other markets also rose. After one hour of trading, the S&P 500 advanced 0.56 percent to a new all-time high (2292.93), boosted by information technology and financials. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.67 percent to an all-time high of 5638.46.

Traders are bullish on Trump’s economic plan to slash taxes, $1 billion on infrastructure and regulation reduction.

“Clearly, this has become a buy-high-sell-higher market with the Dow breaking above 20,000,” Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management told CNBC. “Out of the gate, President Trump is moving along with his agenda.”

“More importantly, earnings have been on the cusp of increasing, and that’s going to be key to hold these valuations,” he added.

On Tuesday, Trump signed executive orders to make it possible to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota and restart the process for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

“There’s no question that some of the executive orders he’s signed are good, especially deregulations,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. “Anything else should be seen as a question mark. We don’t know what a wall on the Mexican border would mean for NAFTA.”

However, investors expect a potential dropoff from the record levels, Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities, told CNBC.

“If funds continue to shovel capital into equities in advance of an inevitable reprise of an undesirable bout of skittishness, then shares may suffer a selloff greater in magnitude and duration than I anticipate,” he said.


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