The Nasdaq surpassed the 15,000 level for the first time ever Tuesday, rising 0.4% thanks to continued strength in tech stocks like Microsoft (, )Nvidia ( and Google owner )Alphabet (. )
The S&P 500 was up about 0.1% and also hit a new record high. It is not far from topping the 4,500 milestone.
And then there’s the Dow. The most famous Wall Street market barometer, home to Apple (, )Coca-Cola (, )Disney (, )Johnson & Johnson (, )Walmart ( and 25 other American titans of industry, rose 0.1% and is close to an all-time high, too. )
It’s also approaching a notable milestone — one that’s more than two decades in the making.
The Dow is currently a little more than 600 points away from hitting 36,000. It only needs to go up about 2% to get there.
Why is that number significant?
It’s the prediction made by journalist James Glassman and economist Kevin Hassett who later went on to fame as a senior White House economic adviser to President Trump. The Dow was hovering just above 10,000 in October 1999 when their book, “Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market” was published. The Dow peaked just above 11,400 by early 2000. Hassett and Glassman predicted that the Dow could hit the 36,000 as soon as 2005.
That didn’t happen. Stocks plummeted in the final months of 2000 as the dot-com bubble burst. The market tumbled again after the 9/11 terrorist attacks led to a recession.
Investor sentiment was further depressed by significant accounting scandals at Enron, Worldcom and Tyco, who were all once considered market leaders. The Dow hit a low of around 7,200 in 2002.
Stocks didn’t get back to pre-bubble levels until 2006, and it wasn’t long after that the market peaked again in October 2007 as the housing market started to unravel.
That ultimately led to the 2008 implosion of Lehman Brothers and the Great Recession. The Dow slid to 6,470 by March 2009 before bottoming.
So if the Dow keeps climbing and finally fulfills the Glassman/Hassett prophecy, we guess that 36K is better late than never.