Will the Dow Top 17K?

Approaching the next big benchmark.
5:10 | 07/02/14

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Transcript for Will the Dow Top 17K?
Okay. It's Wednesday July 2 the financial markets are open a New York in today's big number 171000. We're talking about the Dow Jones average closed yesterday at an all time high just four points shy. Of that 171000. Mark hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen -- New York. Here to discuss the meaning of this benchmark Rick Newman and Yahoo! finance that Rick give -- idea of what is driving the -- to these levels. Nothing's going terribly -- in the economy people want in on the stock market a lot of people obviously are getting in -- We've had a terrific bull run that actually began all the way back in 2009. But people are looking around they can hardly get any money on -- any return on money in the bank. Bonds are paying very low rates -- return some more and more people are putting money in the stock market at the same time economists keep saying. -- we think a robust recovery is right around the corner. There -- some other technical factors going on here but basically. Money is trickling into the stock market that's pushing prices up little by little and that's why we keep seeing one record high after another this year. Well let's talk about that little by little it seems it's almost in contrast with the slow growth of the US economy. It is in contrast to this -- slugger at the -- economy into a lot of other trends that are pretty troubling for example like incomes are barely keeping pace with inflation. Median household income is. Lower than it was ten years ago that's obviously not good news for the middle class. We have fewer people working fewer people are looking for jobs so there really is a disconnect between what's happening with stocks and what's happening in the real economy the main street economy. It is worth keeping in mind that big companies the ones that are represented in indexes like the Dow Jones. Get almost half of their profits from overseas these days. They sell wherever they can get money so that the stock market's really do not necessarily -- reflect what's going on with the US economy anymore. So Rick we're talking about this benchmark but how does 171000. Matter say to investors. Say to. Main street. You know Wall Street analysts we'll tell you ninety's round numbers make any difference whether it whether -- market's going up or down and hit them on the other hand. Here we are talking about it so it does -- a little bit of extra attention to the markets. The mark the market's obviously don't care about these round numbers these are. Artificial numbers in a sense because any index is just an aggregation. Of a bunch of different companies stocks in this company stocks are not -- round numbers. But it does focus our attention for a little while and get us talking about it. We definitely care about it when it goes in the other direction as well what about the dreaded word correction is there any consensus on the street about that. Now there's no consensus on which direction market's going in -- rarely is honestly. However there is a lot of reason for concern one of the reasons the market has been going up is that stuff companies have been buying back a lot of their own stock. That in itself was close to record levels earlier the in the year. And also I mean that's good for shareholders it -- -- -- that companies have a lot of money they can deploy to do something like that. But that is not really a sign of corporate strength that that means that -- in fact that means companies are not investing that money. In -- new facilities are hiring new people. In a way that's a little bit of financial maneuvering if you will to keep those stock prices up so if companies pull back on their own buybacks that's one thing that could undermined demand. Anything that would hint of interest rates rising going up sooner than expected that could -- the job markets if economic growth. Comes in slower than expected that can do it and it can also be -- quite often you know the thing Mitchell to market to something nobody foresees -- -- combination of small factors that nobody. Puts together. In a way that ultimately reflect -- what what might happen so there are plenty of reasons for concern and that's always the case with the stocks and any kind of risky investment. And you know you mention -- small things but it seems like Wall Street is very resilient to some of the major things going on for instance in the Middle East Ukraine and Syria. What's Wall Street's greatest fear. Well those. Those are not really affecting markets directly that's the reason that they that they haven't been hitting the stock market so much for -- Middle East turmoil very troubling obviously. -- that is really hasn't hit the oil markets it could if it spreads and that's why we've seen oil prices going up but that hasn't happened yet. Stay with Ukraine hasn't hit the market yet. -- one big thing that would hit the market to -- doesn't have anything thing to do -- geopolitical unrest that's its interest rates and anything that might come out of central banks and I think those. What's central banks are doing monetary policy is still one of the biggest factors affecting stocks. If we -- to see any surprises there that could that is something that could have a big effect on markets. Rick -- from Yahoo! finance thank you for joining the thing. You can't keep up with the latest headlines right here on abcnews.com. Even watching the big number I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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