The Dow topped 30,000 on Tuesday, and while it’s always impossible to definitively ascribe causation, sentiment was undoubtedly bolstered by the GSA’s long overdue decision to begin the formal transition to a Joe Biden administration.
Also contributing to the good vibes was news that Janet Yellen will be Biden’s Treasury Secretary. That’s bullish for all the usual reasons (e.g., fond memories of the low vol bubble she presided over, which dramatically burst the very same day Jerome Powell was sworn in to replace her), but also because it ostensibly bodes well for the kind of fiscal-monetary cooperation seen as key to fostering a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery.
Dow 30,000 is, of course, totally meaningless. Or, put differently, it’s no more meaningful than Dow 29,999.
But don’t tell that (or any of the above) to Donald Trump, who convened an ad hoc, 60-second press conference, apparently for no other reason than to celebrate an equity rally predicated on the first sign that he is begrudgingly coming to terms with having lost the election and Biden replacing Steve Mnuchin with the woman Trump fired at the Fed.
“We’ve never broken 30,000 and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic,” Trump mused, flanked by a stiff-as-a-board Mike Pence, who appeared to be clinching his fists and sucking on his teeth through tightly pursed lips. “30,000 — never been broken,” Trump continued. “That’s a sacred number.”
“Nobody thought they’d ever see it,” the outgoing president went on to say, after running through a list of stock market milestones hit over the course of his one (and only) term.
“I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration who have worked so hard,” Trump added, as though the entire four years has just been one, belabored effort to get the Dow to 30,000.
“And most importantly, I want to congratulate the people of our country,” Trump ventured. “Because there are no people like you.”
Then, he turned around and walked off. Trump has not taken a single question from reporters since Election Day.
I’d be remiss not to remind readers that most of “the people” don’t actually own many stocks, and that’s if they own any at all.
Crucially, the numbers in the visual (above) are for ownership — any ownership. They’re not about concentration. Just because you own some stocks (in a retirement account or a personal account) doesn’t mean you own many stocks.
And even if you think what you own counts as “a lot,” that is everywhere and always a relative term.
In any event, there’s always a tweet. And this time is absolutely no exception…