A Quick Look at the Stock Market

The Wall Street Journal is breathless yet again because the Dow has crossed another threshold with three zeroes in it:

Just 30 days! Of course, that’s how things go with an exponential series: the time between fixed intervals gets smaller and smaller. For your viewing pleasure, then, here’s a less dramatic take on the stock market over the past seven years:

There you have it. This is not the Dow, it’s the S&P 500—which is a better measure—but they’re pretty much the same. The market has been growing at a fairly steady 11 percent per year ever since the Great Recession ended. There’s really nothing very special going on right now. In case you’re interested, here’s the P/E ratio since 2004:

It’s starting to look a little pricey. The last two recessions began when the P/E ratio was at 26.1 (March 2001) and 22.4 (December 2007). It’s currently at 25.5

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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