Mar. 5 - The Dow closes at a record high above 14,253 amid signs of optimism from the U.S. and China, the world's two biggest economies, but Americans ask when will Main Street catch up with Wall Street. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Break out your party hats - the Dow surges to an all-new lifetime closing high. 14,253.77 is the new number for the record books, eclipsing the old record of more than 14,164 set back on October 9th, 2007. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing at multi-year highs as well. The final push to a new record came amid signs of growth in the global economy. The U.S. services sector surprisingly expanded at its fastest pace in a year. And China, the world's second biggest economy, is betting on 7.5 percent economic growth this year, nearly even from last year. Douglas Blake of Newbridge Securities says the record reflects a collective sigh of relief. DOUGLAS BLAKE, SENIOR WEALTH MANAGER, NEWBRIDGE SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The Euro-zone debt crisis, we had the European Central Bank step in to really resolve some of those issues by committing to the euro as Mario Draghi said, 'whatever it takes'. Japan emerging from a two decade economic slumber is now breaking out, and it's probably the most dynamic market in the world on the upside. China, which had a transfer of leadership and also what we feared would be an economic hard landing, has found a way to sort of swoop out of that and resume their upward trend." But while there is euphoria on the trading floor, on the streets some everyday Americans see little correlation between Wall Street and Main Street. SOUNDBITE: JOE FARELLI, INVESTOR, NEW YORK CITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The share prices may be reflecting an increased value in the companies, I think Wall Street is getting rich but I don't think Main Street is getting rich right now. I don't think their situations are improving quite frankly. And in all honesty, if you ask most Americans out there, they don't feel secure in their jobs." SOUNDBITE: DAVE GROSS, INVESTOR, LONG ISLAND (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is an absolute disconnect between the stock market and the economy. The stock market is driven by speculation, by a lot of cheap money due to the banking industry having zero interest rates and I don't think it is quite a good match for the economy." But Wall Street's new record should be seen as a sign of where the economy is going, not where it's been, says Blake. DOUGLAS BLAKE, SENIOR WEALTH MANAGER, NEWBRIDGE SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The U.S. market is a forward looking indicator. We're kind of pointing the direction for where we hope and where we anticipate that the U.S. economy will eventually be. So you can be encouraged that we're starting to break out and that could mean down the road that the U.S. economy will start bearing some of the fruit of this upside in the future." That optimism - also taking hold in Europe, where stocks rose solidly.