How close was the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday to hitting an eagerly awaited milestone? Less than six pennies. That is essentially the difference between oh-so-close and maybe-next-session for the blue-chip gauge’s frustrating march to 20,000.
The Dow DJIA, +0.32% on Friday reached a high of 19,999.63, or about .37 point from achieving history—at least in psychological terms. In other words, a 5.5 cent move in any one of the price-weighted Dow’s component would have tipped it over the edge, based on the Dow divisor of 0.14602128.
On Friday, Goldman Sachs GS, +1.48% was the biggest contributor to the Dow’s agonizing struggle higher, adding about 30 points on the session. The share rise in the prominent investment bank has provided the lion’s share of the Dow’s 1,000-point ascent since Nov. 22, when the Dow reached 19,000. But, the drag from retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -1.37% and telecommunications company Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, -1.48% has so far been sufficient to keep 20K just out of reach.
A postelection stock rally has been supported by expectations that president-elect Donald Trump will unleash a raft of pro-business policies, including a rollback of regulations, tax cuts and fiscal spending.
Bulls, however, can take solace in Friday’s narrow miss. After all, the Dow still notched a new all-time intraday high, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.60% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.35% posted record finishes.
But, lately all eyes have been trained on the roughly 130-year old Wall Street gauge.