Dow Closes Above 14,000 for 1st Time in More Than 5 Years

Feb 1, 2013 4:59pm

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007.

The index closed at 14,009.79 in New York trading this afternoon, up 149.21 points or more than 1 percent.

Economic news stories may have contributed to the boost in the equities index, including a jobs report released this morning that showed a lower-than-expected 157,000 jobs added in January. However, Labor Department revisions showed job growth was stronger in November and December than previously reported.

Other contributing factors to the strong stock market may have been an earnings season that has not yet shown companies in a state of disaster.

The Dow is now 154.74 points, or 1 percent, from its all time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is commonly referred to as an index of “blue chip” companies whose stocks are considered less risky.

Morningstar’s director of economic analysis, Robert Johnson, said there wasn’t any major economic significance to the threshold of 14,000.

“It’s a psychologically important number to people,” Johnson said. “Easy come, easy go.”

While moving above 14,000 puts the Dow nearly 200 points below the all time highs last seen in 2007, Tom di Galoma, managing director at financial services firm Navigate Advisors LLC, questions if the momentum will continue.

“It seems to me that Europe and Asia are on better footing and in my view that is an enormous development,” he said.

One reason the threshold is of little significance is that the investors who own stocks that have potentially risen in a short period of time do not necessarily cash out and spend that money elsewhere. Instead, those with stock holdings often analyze their gains over a longer period of time.

“People are cautious,” Johnson said. “They don’t take money out of their IRA and spend it. They save for a house or a car.”

Johnson pointed out that rising prices of homes, which are often the biggest household investments, are more significant than the Dow hitting 14,000.

On Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed housing prices rose 5.5 percent in November compared to a year ago.

Once the market hits a threshold number like 14,000, Johnson said, it can become more difficult for an index to rise much higher.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it seems to be a pattern that seems to happen once in a while,” he said.

ABC News’ Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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