Get out the Dow 19,000 rally caps. The Dow Jones industrial average, arguably the world's best-known stock market gauge, closed above the 19,000 barrier Tuesday for the first time in its 120-year history.
For the second straight day, all four major U.S. stock indexes touched new record high territory. The Dow jumped 67.18 points, or 0.4%, to close at a record high of 19,023.87, according to preliminary calculations.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed above 2200 for the first time ever as it rose 4.76 points, or 0.2%, to 2202.94. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%, to an all-time closing high of 5386.35 and the Russell 2000 gained 0.9% to 1334.27, its thirteenth straight session of gains.
The assault on Dow 19,000 has taken nearly two years, or 700 calendar days, since it took out the 18,000 barrier back on Dec. 23, 2014. It was the slowest climb from one 1,000-point milestone to the next since taking nearly six years to climb from 14,000 in July 2007 to 15,000 in May 2013. (That long drought, of course, coincided with the Great Recession and the worst stock market decline since the Great Depression.)
Dow 19,000 is the latest signal that the rally sparked by Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election win is broadening as investors continue to bet on the prospects for a more investor- and business-friendly administration.
Whether the bullish hype turns out to be the right trade remains to be seen, as Trump has yet to get the keys to the White House or make one of his campaign promises come true.
"Whatever else the future holds, Trump has already made the U.S. stock market great again," Don Luskin, chief investment officer at investment firm TrendMacro, told USA TODAY.
Stocks, however, are rising despite a continued rise in long-term interest rates and U.S. dollar. The 10-year Treasury note rose as high as 2.34%, its highest level in about a year, before settling at 2.32% Tuesday. The greenback strengthened versus a basket of foreign currencies for the eleventh time in the past 12 trading sessions.
Low rates, of course, have been a key driver of stock prices in recent years, although the current increase in rates is occurring as signs of a stronger U.S. economy emerge and investors price in further economic gains based on Trump's pro-business platform of lower taxes, less regulation and more fiscal spending.
The dollar's rise, however, could hurt the profitability of large U.S. companies that do a lot of business abroad, as the prices of their products and services will be more expensive in local dollars, which could crimp sales and earnings.