Dow nearing record high*

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?

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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