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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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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