Dow Jones landmark may point to a healing economy

NewsChannel 10

New York - For the first time in almost four years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 13,000 and it could be the turning point for the struggling U.S. economy.

Despite the blue chip index breaking the barrier just briefly throughout the day, and finishing below the mark at the closing bell, the financial world is still considering this milestone a success.

It was a big day on Wall Street. Just two hours after the opening bell, the Dow Jones hit 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the worst of the great recession.

It's been a long climb back up, after the Dow dropped below 7,000 in 2009.

But things have really started to pick up in recent months. The index hit 12,000 in January and has continued to surge ever since.

While 13,000 is just a number, experts say this psychological milestone is symbolic because it brings on market and consumer confidence.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Bill Hall explains, "People feel more confident and consequently people feel a little better about spending money and making long term investment decisions."

The number may also be a lucky one, lucky number 13 that is. The landmark event could point toward a healing economy, in surge of optimism that an economic recovery is finally real.

David Terry with the WTAMU Enterprise Center says, "It gives somebody the opportunity to go ahead and launch that business. With an increase in consumer confidence, people spending money, companies making investments, that also frees up some of the credit."

The big question is, just why are stocks doing so well lately? Financial experts say there are a number of reasons. The Greek and European economies have not collapsed, while the U.S. economy looks like it's improving.

Hall explains, "Interest rates are really low right now, and so the only place you can get a dividend of some kind is from stocks and people like to know they've got confidence in things."

Although things are looking up, it's important to remember Wall Street changes quickly.

Hall advises, "People should stick with their plan, whatever it is investing wise, and don't let short term decisions, make a long term investment strategy."

The Dow is now less than 1200 points from its all time high, and reaching that could be next.