No one is likely to order any ball caps emblazoned with “Dow 33K,” but America’s most well-known stock index cleared another 1,000-point milestone on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 189.42 points, a gain of 0.6%, to close at a record 33,015.37, just five trading days after clearing the 32,000 milestone. That marked the fastest-ever trip through consecutive, 1,000-point milestones on a closing basis, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
As anyone with a passing familiarity with arithmetic would note, however, such milestones become less impressive the higher the market goes. After all, a move from 32,000 to 33,000 marks a rise of just 3.125%. In contrast, the move from 9,000 to the eminently hat-worthy 10,000 level back in the bubbly dot-com days of 1999 marked a rise of 11.1%.
The second-fastest move between milestones was an eight-day journey from 25,000 to 26,000, a rise of 4%.
OK, math lesson over. So what drove the blue-chip gauge from 32,000 to 33,000?
An afternoon rally in Wednesday’s session after the Federal Reserve’s eagerly awaited policy statement and, in particular, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference was read as solidly dovish, reinforcing the central bank’s message that it was committed to allowing the economy to run hot before starting to put the brakes on its ultra-easy monetary policy measures.
The Dow had been on a tear ahead of the meeting, however, notching a seven-day winning streak and a four-day run of record closes before losing some ground in Tuesday’s session, lifted by expectations for a surge in economic growth as the U.S. and much of the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. And those expectations were only enhanced by President Joe Biden’s signing last week of a $1.9 trillion package of COVID-relief spending, which comes on top of earlier rounds of fiscal stimulus.
The S&P 500 ended the day up 0.3%, also setting a record with a close at 3,974.12. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite erased an early loss to end 0.4% higher.
Among the individual drivers, Dow Jones Market Data said the biggest contributor among the Dow’s 30 components was plane-maker Boeing Co. adding 120.08 points to the index during the run from 32,000 to 33,000. A complete breakdown of the leaders and laggards is below:
|Home Depot Inc.||+90.73|
|Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.||+23.55|
|Goldman Sachs Group Inc.||+19.28|
|UnitedHealth Group Inc.||+16.98|
|Travelers Cos. Inc.||+16.71|
|Merck & Co. Inc.||+16.71|
|Johnson & Johnson||+10.66|
|International Business Machines Corp.||+7.63|
|Cisco Systems Inc.||+7.43|
|Procter & Gamble Co.||+7.11|
|Walt Disney Co.||+1.18|
|Honeywell International Inc.||+0.79|
|Walmart Inc. WMT||+0.66|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||-0.26|
|Verizon Communications Inc.||-8.75|
|American Express Co.||-13.62|
|Source: Dow Jones Market Data|