In Terms of Real Stuff, The Dow’s “New High” Is Pure Illusion

Monday, January 6, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Charles Hugh-Smith

The rise in equities does not mean stocks “buy” more commodities in the real world–they buy less.

If the new highs in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are so wonderful, why does one share of the Dow-30 buy less than it did 14 years ago? What does a nominal new high in the stock market mean in the real world? The only way to know is to ask if the purchasing power of a share of the Dow buys more than it did when the Dow was at lower levels.

If one share of the Dow (defined as one share of each of the constituent 30 companies) buys less than it did when the Dow was as lower levels, the nominal new high is a mirage in terms of increased purchasing power of equities.

Another way of assessing the real-world impact of a nominal new high in equities is to perform a relative strength analysis: did equities outperform essential commodities, or did equities underperform these essentials? If the Dow underperformed, then a new high is an illusion: if equities buy less stuff in the real world, the nominal new high is misleading.

Longtime correspondent Harun I. recently shared a series of charts which reveals what’s real and what’s false about nominal new highs in the Dow:

The Rest…HERE

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