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May 01, 2006

Dow Approaches All-Time High

Johnny Coldcuts' prediction of Dow 12,000 by July may have been too cautious.

Stock prices soar; those seeking to buy stocks must do so at all-time high prices; women, minorities hardest hit:

Without much fanfare...

Really? The MSM isn't trumpeting the Bush Boom as it did the Clinton Boom? Well blow me over with a feather.

... the Dow Jones Industrial Average is closing in on its all-time high, set at the beginning of 2000 before Americans became disenchanted with stocks and turned to real estate.

Despite soaring oil prices, the Dow, watched as a barometer of the economy and Main Street, has regained more than 4,000 points that slipped away after the dotcom bust and the 2001 recession. Now, the average is closer than it's ever been to its Jan. 14, 2000, high of 11,723 - a number that brings back memories of taxi drivers talking about their stock portfolios and a book predicting a 36,000 level for the Dow.

Behind the rebound is a solid economy, emphasized last Friday when the Commerce Department reported that the nation's gross domestic product grew at a swift 4.8 percent, the best growth in 2-1/2 years. Indeed, the healthy economy is pumping up corporate earnings, which have been growing at double-digit rates. Some of the fastest-growing engines of economic growth are at the nation's smallest companies, whose stocks have averaged about a 20 percent gain per year for the past five years.

Some analysts expect the next leg in the economy to be powered by the capital spending of cash-rich companies.

"The economy is fundamentally sound," says Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla. "Even though economists have been expecting the economy to slow, recent data suggest it's not that soft."

Last week, companies from Chevron to Microsoft to GlaxoSmithKline reported healthy earnings increases. "The last few years, Wall Street analysts have continued to underestimate earnings, and that's true today. The majority of companies are beating the estimates," says Art Nunes of IMS Capital Management in Portland, Ore.

At some point, you would imagine that simple shame would compel the media to actually do their jobs and report the news -- and just as loudly and insistently as they did under Clinton.

Of course, that's before the shocks of the 2000 election and 9/11 ramped up partisanship throughout the nation, especially our fair and balanced press corps.

This is not the economic boom you're looking for.

"This isn't the economic boom we're looking for."

It's the worst economy since Herbert Hoover.

"It's the worst economy since Herbert Hoover."

Nothing to see here; drive on.

"Nothing to see here; drive on."

The Media Mind Trick.

You betcha, sweetie.

Thanks to John for the pic.

By the way, a lot of people send the link to the Busted Tees "More Cowbell" t-shirt. Yes, I know about it.

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posted by Ace at 11:10 AM

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