Dow 13,000: What Now?

Gary Kaltbaum, FNC
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13,000 ... it's a number that is sending investors' bullish thoughts into overdrive. Is it meaningful? Is a big round number that important? My answer. Yes and no.

It is just a number. That is correct. 13,000 is nothing more than a number. 13,000 is nothing more than a number. 13,000 is nothing more than a number.

Did I get my point across?

It is just 30 stocks. Maybe you did not know this, but the Dow is one of the smallest samplings to gauge the market — just 30 stocks — and some would say that these 30 names are past leaders.

Large numbers can sometimes be a trap. When they are hit, investors get too bullish — leading to near-term tops.

That's the negative case.

Here's the positive case:

13,000 means things are good. It means that all of the "end of the world" type talk is wrong. I have NEVER seen a market go up and the economy crap out. It has just never happened. 13,000 means the economy is alive and well — in spite of higher OIL prices … in spite of Katrina … in spite of war ... in spite of global warming ... in spite of an imploding housing market ... in spite of restrictive lending ... in spite of all the negative reports we get to read in "The New York Times" every day.

BUT, I have strong words of advice — very strong words — KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND. Do not make decisions based on a round number. Do not change your investing discipline because of the cheerleading that we always see when markets are going up. Investing is a long-term proposition, not a proposition for the next few days. I still recall that in 1998 - 1999, your grandma and grandpa would sell their bonds to buy the "hot thing!" And, we all know what happened to that "hot thing!"

13,000 is a good thing, but it is not everything. If the market wanted to top out today and head back to 12,000, it will. If it wanted to go straight up to 15,000, it will do that also.

I am always in the camp to keep your wits about you regardless of what the market is doing .…but for now, nothing but good!

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Gary Kaltbaum is president of money management firm Kaltbaum & Associates. He can be heard nightly on his nationally syndicated radio show "Investors Edge" on over 50 radio stations. He is a regular on FNC's Business Block. Visit Kaltbaum's Corner on for more.

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