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Dow Closes About 23,000 For First Time: What Is Driving Markets Up?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The stock market leapt into record territory for a second day on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 23,000 for the first time.

The index ended the session up 160 points, at 23,157. Most of it was due to just one stock – IBM – which had its best day since 2009 because of strong earnings.

But the markets were up slightly overall with the S&P and the NASDAQ also inching higher.

As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, the gains sparked celebrations from Wall Street to Washington. But the continued climb has left many asking, what exactly is driving the market higher – and how long can the rally last?

President Donald Trump celebrated the skyrocketing stock market with a late-night Twitter video showing the Dow’s increase from Election Day to Inauguration day and through Wednesday, captioned, “WOW!”

CBS News Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said the market can be attributed to an increase in global growth, strong corporate earnings, and low interest rates.

“You put those three things together you get a surging market, and it’s a continuation of this bull market,” Schlesinger said. “It is now the second longest bull market on record.”

The bull market, in which share prices are rising and more people are buying stock, started in 2009 under President Barack Obama – with the most recent 11 months under President Trump.

Since the start of 2017, the Dow has climbed more than 3,000 points.

“When he was first elected, people thought, ‘The market is going to go up; we’re going to get infrastructure, tax reform, and regulatory reform,’” Schlesinger said. “Of those three, we’ve gotten regulatory reform. The fundamentals are driving the market right now — not so much what the Trump administration is doing — although they’re saying they will do something.”

Meanwhile, Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of the infamous crash of 1987, when the stock market dropped by 22 percent in one session. Three decades later, many people are wondering if what goes up must come down.

“It’s good to be defensive,” Schlesinger said. “Don’t take on too much risk.”

The gains on Wall Street this year have been almost like a tide – rising all ships. The top five gainers were Boeing, Caterpillar. Visa, Apple, and McDonald’s – all from very different industries.

Surprisingly, though, there have also been some losers. GM, Verizon, Exxon Mobil, IBM, and Disney are all lower for the year.

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