Dow Jones Industrial Average Briefly Climbs Over 23,000 Points

Oct 17, 2017
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The stock market hit a new record today. For a brief time, the Dow Jones industrial average went up past 23,000 points. NPR's Alina Selyukh reports.

ALINA SELYUKH, BYLINE: Trying to predict markets is not easy, but today's movement was.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are watching the Dow, which just hit 23,000 for the first time.

SELYUKH: The Dow Jones industrial average has been passing those touchstone round numbers all year - 20,000 then 21, 22 and now 23,000 points. In fact, stocks have been rising for eight years straight.

CONSTANCE HUNTER: We're at the part of the party where everybody is having that last drink, and they're really happy.

SELYUKH: Constance Hunter, chief U.S. economist at KPMG, says underpinning this excitement is a steady economy.

HUNTER: Up until the month of August, we had 83 consecutive months of jobs growth. This is the longest period of jobs growth in history.

SELYUKH: No single thing led to today's milestone. In many ways, the latest Dow record is symbolic. It only accounts for 30 stocks, but it's a long established way to track the markets. And lately, both interest rates and inflation have been very low. Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at private bank BMO, says the Trump administration's business-friendly attitude contributes, but...

JACK ABLIN: Obviously we can't point to any specific legislation that's propelled this market because there hasn't been any specific legislation.

SELYUKH: Ablin says one impact of the Dow's surge is psychological. It gives markets confidence and keeps pushing them higher - Alina Selyukh, NPR News.

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