Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Dow tops 25,000

Published:Friday | January 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading above 25,000 points for the first time Thursday, just five weeks since its first close above 24,000.

The Dow broke through five 1,000-point barriers in 2017, on its way to a 25 per cent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound sceptics.

Strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings have analysts predicting more gains, although the market may not stay as calm as it has been recently.

The Dow has made a rapid trip from 24,000 points on November 30, partly on enthusiasm over passage of the Republican-backed tax package, which could boost company profits this year with across-the-board cuts to corporate taxes.

"For a long while in 2017, I would say the biggest driver was excitement and anticipation over tax reform, but at a certain point I think there was a handover to global economic growth really helping to carry the stock market," said Invesco chief global markets strategist Kristina Hooper.

Big gains in US blue-chip companies have powered the Dow's relentless rise to new heights over the past year, including an 87 per cent gain in aerospace giant Boeing, a 69 per cent rise in Caterpillar and a 49 per cent increase in Apple.

The Dow, which was founded in 1896 and is the oldest barometer of the US stock market, has nearly quadrupled in value from its low during the financial crisis in early 2009. But the global economy and spending by people and businesses and governments were much slower to recover than stocks were.

"Instead of fiscal stimulus, we relied on monetary policy stimulus, which inflates asset prices as opposed to the overall economy," Hooper said.

The Dow, which tracks 30 big US companies, was up 134 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 25,057 as of 12:35 p.m. Eastern Time.