No one is likely to order any ball caps emblazoned with “Dow 33K,” but America’s most well-known stock index cleared another 1,000-point milestone on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
As anyone with a passing familiarity with arithmetic would note, however, such milestones become less impressive the higher the market goes. After all, a move from 32,000 to 33,000 marks a rise of just 3.125%. In contrast, the move from 9,000 to the eminently hat-worthy 10,000 level back in the bubbly dot-com days of 1999 marked a rise of 11.1%.
The second-fastest move between milestones was an eight-day journey from 25,000 to 26,000, a rise of 4%.
OK, math lesson over. So what drove the blue-chip gauge from 32,000 to 33,000?
An afternoon rally in Wednesday’s session after the Federal Reserve’s eagerly awaited policy statement and, in particular, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference was read as solidly dovish, reinforcing the central bank’s message that it was committed to allowing the economy to run hot before starting to put the brakes on its ultra-easy monetary policy measures.
The Dow had been on a tear ahead of the meeting, however, notching a seven-day winning streak and a four-day run of record closes before losing some ground in Tuesday’s session, lifted by expectations for a surge in economic growth as the U.S. and much of the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. And those expectations were only enhanced by President Joe Biden’s signing last week of a $1.9 trillion package of COVID-relief spending, which comes on top of earlier rounds of fiscal stimulus.
Among the individual drivers, Dow Jones Market Data said the biggest contributor among the Dow’s 30 components was plane-maker Boeing Co. BA,
| Amgen Inc. AMGN,
| Home Depot Inc. HD,
| Caterpillar Inc. CAT,
| McDonald’s Corp. MCD,
| Nike Inc. NKE,
| Apple Inc. AAPL,
| Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
| 3M Co. MMM,
| Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA,
| Intel Corp. INTC,
| Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS,
| UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH,
| Travelers Cos. Inc. TRV,
| Merck & Co. Inc. MRK,
| Dow Inc. DOW,
| Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
| International Business Machines Corp. IBM,
| Salesforce.com Inc. CRM,
| Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO,
| Procter & Gamble Co. PG,
| Walt Disney Co. DIS,
| Honeywell International Inc. HON,
|Walmart Inc. WMT||+0.66|
| JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM,
| Visa Inc. V,
| Coca-Cola Co. KO,
| Verizon Communications Inc. VZ,
| American Express Co. AXP,
| Chevron Corp. CVX,
|Source: Dow Jones Market Data|