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Dow Knocking on the Door of 40,000

Dow Knocking on the Door of 40,000

April 01, 2024

The stock market rang the doorbell of the New Year with a bang during the 1st quarter. The S&P 500 index built on last year’s +24% gain with another +10% advance during the first three months of the year. And as a result of these increases, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is knocking on the door of the 40,000 milestone – more specifically, the Dow closed the month at 39,807 (see chart below). To put his into context, when I was born more than 50 years ago, the Dow was valued at less than 1,000 – not a bad run. This is proof positive of what Einstein called the 8th Wonder of the World, “compounding”. At Sidoxia Capital Management, we view investing as a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot realize the benefits of compounding without having a long-term time horizon. The sooner you start saving and the more you save, the faster and larger your retirement nest egg will grow.

If you are one of the people who thinks the stock market is too high, then you should definitely ignore Warren Buffett, arguably the greatest investor of all-time. Buffett predicted the Dow will reach an astronomical level of one million (1,000,000) within the next 100 years. I’m not sure I will still be around to witness this momentous achievement, however, if history repeats itself, this targeted timeframe could prove conservative.

Despite the magnitude and duration of this bull market, there is still a lot of angst and anxiety over the upcoming election. Nevertheless, investors are choosing instead to focus on the strong fundamentals of the economy. Just this last week, we saw the broadest measurement of economic activity, GDP (Gross Domestic Product), get revised higher to +3.4% growth during the 4th quarter of 2023 (see chart below). On the jobs front, the unemployment picture remains healthy (3.9%), near a generational low.

Source: Trading Economics and Bureau of Economic Analysis

And when it comes to the all-important inflation data, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, Core PCE index (Core Personal Consumption Expenditures), was also just released in-line with economists’ projections at 2.5% (see chart below), very near the Fed’s long-term 2.0% inflation target and well below the Core PCE’s recent peak near 6%.

Source: The Wall Street Journal and Commerce Department

This resilient economic data, when combined with the declining inflation figures, has resulted in the Federal Reserve sticking with its plan of cutting its Federal Funds interest rate target three times this year. If inflation reverses course or remains stubbornly high, then there is a higher likelihood that interest rate cuts will be delayed. On the flip side, if economic data slows significantly or the country goes into a recession, then the probability of sooner and/or more Fed interest-rate cuts will increase.

In other news, here are some of the other major financial headlines this month:

  • Francis Scott Key Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Six people died when a large container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key bridge in the Port of Baltimore. An estimated 50 million tons of goods valued at $80 billion flows through this port, making this one of the top 10 ports in the country. The auto and coal industry supply chains will be disproportionately affected, but the good news is much of these goods will be diverted to other larger ports (e.g., Port of New York and Port of New Jersey).
  • DJT Debut: A lot of hype surrounded the trading debut of Trump Media & Technology Group, which began trading last week under the initials of our country’s former president, Donald J. Trump (Ticker: DJT). Despite only posting a few million in revenue and -$50 million in losses during the first nine months of 2023, the stock skyrocketed +65% in its first week of trading and attained a $9 billion valuation. Time will tell if Trump’s Truth Social media platform will gain traction and justify the stock’s price, or rather suffer the declining fate of other meme stocks like GameStop Corp. (GME) or AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC).
  • SBF Sentenced to 25 Years: The former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange company FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), was sentenced to 25 years in prison due to his conviction on seven counts of fraud and what is believed to be $8 billion in stolen client funds. SBF didn’t help his own cause by perjuring himself, tampering with witnesses, and showing a lack of remorse, according to the judge.

We are only 25% of the way through the year, but the Dow is knocking on the 40,000-milestone door. The way things look now, investors are wiping their feet on the welcome doormat and ready to walk right in.

Wade W. Slome, CFA, CFP®

Plan. Invest. Prosper.

DISCLOSURE: Sidoxia Capital Management (SCM) and some of its clients hold positions in individual stocks , certain exchange traded funds (ETFs), and notes including AMC 2026, but at the time of publishing had no direct position in DJT, GME, AMC or any other security referenced in this article. No information accessed through the Investing Caffeine (IC) website constitutes investment, financial, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. Please read disclosure language on IC Contact page.