Originally posted March 5, 2013 (changed web hosts and back ups only through 2/28 were transferred)
So the market just hit its all-time high! Uh, scratch that. The share prices of the thirty stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the Dow), each assigned a different weighting in the calculation that assigns a number to that average, have risen to the point where the Dow’s number is higher than it’s ever been. Wow! So now what?
Well, stock prices will continue to move higher in the short-run if buyers continue to bring their cash to the market and current owners are reluctant to let go of their shares at yesterday’s prices. I could offer a dozen reasons why that may continue for months to come. On the other hand, stocks could halt their ascent and decline if sellers come to the market to unload their shares and buyers aren’t willing to pay yesterday’s prices. And I could offer a dozen reasons why that may occur as well.
As for the long-run (decades), stocks will go up and stocks will go down. They’ll trend higher, however, if companies continue to produce goods and services that their customers (the world wide) can continue to purchase at prices that yield a nice profit. And that those profits are utilized to expand their enterprises, improve their product lines and create the next generation of stuffs that turn people on and change the world. On the other hand, they’ll trend lower if somehow the power over too much of those profits divert, through over-taxation/regulation, to those who believe an economy is something that can be centrally planned, and/or politicians who live to accomplish their—or their advisors’—view of social justice. As concerned as you may be with the latter, I’m thinking the former—present trend in some parts of the world notwithstanding—remains the likeliest scenario.