by Bethany Blankley
Since the 2016 election, the U.S. stock market has produced historic records.
Generally viewed as a gauge of current and future economic health, the stock market hit new highs again Thursday, with Nasdaq topping the 9,000 mark for the first time in history.
With robust jobs and economic growth, 2019 was one in which stock market records were made only to be broken again and again.
On Nov. 8, 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,332.
By Nov. 15, 2019, the Dow passed the 28,000 mark for the first time in its 120-year history. As of Friday morning, the Dow Jones was 28,680.
All three major U.S. stock indexes hit record highs on Dec. 26 after markets reopened after the Christmas holiday. The Dow Jones advanced 47 points (0.2 percent) to 28,563. The S&P 500 rose 8 points (0.3 percent) to 3,232. Nasdaq rose by 41 points or 0.5 percent to 8,994, after climbing above 9,000 for the first time. The rose again Thursday and continued the momentum into Friday morning.
A January 2020 “Phase 1” trade deal between Washington, D.C., and Beijing helped contribute to rising economic optimism, as did a newly agreed upon USMCA trade deal, and continued record-breaking unemployment and jobs reports.
The U.S. GDP exceeding analyst expectations in the third quarter of 2019 of 2.1 percent also added to optimism. Speculation about an imminent recession were also eliminated after reports of consumer spending improved, fueled by record low interest rates.
Consumer spending, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased by 0.4 percent in November, representing the strongest gain recorded since July, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
According to Yahoo Finance, the Dow was down in 2015 and remained relatively flat until November 2016.
Prior to 2017, at no point in the Dow’s 120-year history were annual increases of more than 3,500 points ever recorded.
In 2017, the DOW set its first record-largest increase of nearly 5,000 points until it surpassed that record in 2019.
In 2017, the Dow also matched a previous record for consecutive all-time highs ever recorded in 30 years. In January 1987, the Dow increased its new all-time highs 12 days in a row for the first time in history. In February 2017, this record was matched.
By January 2018, the DOW surpassed 26,000. Within six days it surpassed 26,500.
Under the 45th president, the DOW has witnessed the fastest 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000, 8,000, and 9,000 point increases in its 120-year history.
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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square.