Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dow at 10,000! Will it stall the rally?

IT is only a number, the stock market equivalent of an appliance chain’s millionth customer, or the gazillionth hamburger served at McDonald’s. Still, the Dow, which closed up 124.17 points, at 9,789.36, on Monday, is within reach of 10,000. Who would have thought?

At the depths of Wall Street’s crisis, when traders were despairing and shares of Citigroup were trading for just over a dollar, Dow 5,000 seemed a likelier prospect than this. But now, one of the most-watched measures of the financial world is on the cusp of jumping back to five-digit territory.

That does not mean the economy’s problems are over, or that 401(k)s are going to be made whole anytime soon. In fact, this milestone could even stall the rally if enough investors use it as an opportunity to cash in their gains, analysts say. But a big round number is often seen as a way of assessing the market’s health, and whether it has enough juice to climb much higher. ~~ET

"Will 10,000 make a difference to some people?" said Stuart Freeman, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. "It’s psychological, but if enough people act on it, it’s meaningful. The higher a market goes, the more that those on the sideline sit there and are concerned they’re missing something. It takes a while for their fear to wear off."

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