Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 8, 2010
The Dow Jones industrial average passed the 10,000 mark on July 7, to close at 10,095.02. In Ed Yardeni’s morning email today he says this numerical milestone reminds him of the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which Bill Murray’s character is forced to repeat the same day over and over again. He writes:
I’ve lost count of how many times the Dow has climbed above 10,000 since it first did so on March 29, 1999. In other words, during the Dow’s “lost decade” through yesterday, stock investors in general haven’t earned a nickel from capital gains. All of their return came from the dividends paid by the 30 Blue Chips in the Dow.
Just how often has the Dow passed 10,000? Here, according to my look at Bloomberg data, is the full list: 03/29/99; 04/05/99; 04/07/99; 02/28/00; 03/09/00; 03/15/00; 10/19/00; 03/15/01; 04/10/01; 09/05/01; 12/5/01; 12/19/01; 12/21/01; 02/14/02; 02/25/02; 05/01/02; 05/08/02; 05/13/02; 12/11/03; 05/11/04; 05/25/04; 07/27/04; 08/18/04; 09/28/04; 10/27/04; 10/14/09; 10/19/09; 10/22/09; 11/05/09; 02/09/10; 05/27/10; 06/10/10; 07/07/10.
Phew, that is 33 times in the past 12 years! This also reminds me of the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a king punished by the gods to repeatedly roll a boulder up a hill — and then watch it roll back down again — for eternity. (Wile E. Coyote has a similar history of preordained futility in his pursuit of Road Runner.) Equity investors have pushed stocks up again and again for the past decade, and then, a few days later or a few years later, are inevitably forced to watch it roll down again.
Maybe, though, the 33rd time is the charm?