The PJ Tatler

Same Day At The Stock Market, Two Different Perspectives

While perusing the financial news of the day I couldn’t help but notice the different tone in these two articles about it.

First, the New York Times:

The oldest and most popular gauge of the stock market on Tuesday surged past the nominal high it last reached more than five years ago, before the financial crisis hit with full force.

In the past, such a recovery would have led to celebrations on Wall Street and spread optimism about the economy. But the gain by the Dow Jones industrial average — the stocks of 30 American corporate giants like Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil and Microsoft — was a more downbeat event.

Wall Street executives were not dismissing the rally out of hand, but after several years of turbulence they were not cracking open the Champagne either.

Second, the Los Angeles Times:

The Dow Jones industrial average has barreled to an all-time high, erasing $11 trillion of losses racked up when the financial crisis began five years ago.

The stock market’s revival — with the Dow at a record 14,253.77 — has some respected minds on Wall Street suggesting the Dow will puncture 20,000 in just a few years. But, as investors may recall, the last few times the stock market seemed headed for records, disaster soon followed.

High-flying tech stocks led to highs in 2000 just before the bubble burst. The rally that ended in 2007 was followed by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

So what’s different now?

Corporate America is raking in bigger profits, stock prices are relatively cheap, and the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies have pushed interest rates to record lows.

Depending on which assessment you’re reading, it’s either “Wait! Wait! Wait!” or “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Then again, the Los Angeles Times is operating with a skeleton crew and its piece may have been written by a drunk janitor.