The previous record from October 2007 - 14,164 - is only a number, but it validates how far the market has come after its 2008-2009 tumble. That the Dow is nearing its all-time high the day before the federal government imposes drastic budget cuts represents an interesting disconnect between affairs of commerce and state. It also comes on the day that fourth-quarter economic growth was revised upward, but only to a paltry 0.1 percent (though many economists say that the headline number belies more positive internals, such as consumer spending). As of 11:24, the Dow was up 70 points, less than 20 points away from the promised land. From CNBC:
"Everyone was waiting to buy the dip and when the dip began to disappear, everyone had to rush in...[psychologically,] people tend to run toward closing opportunities," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. "There are some technical signs of a broadening top, but at the same time, bulls can make the case that they're resting up."
*Update: Hold that champagne. Stocks began retreating in the last hour or so of trading and at the close the Dow was actually down 20 points, to 14,054 - 110 points shy of the all-time record. Perhaps this being the last day of the month could have played a part. But it's the market - who the heck knows why it does what it does?