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Dow Jones stock index crosses 40,000: Good or bad for California?


You typically need a solid economy for stocks or homes to appreciate.
The stock market’s venerable yardstick, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, just made history – crossing 40,000 for the first time.
Yes, this milestone set Thursday, May 16, is only a brief emotional victory for shareholders. Yet it can be seen as a historical milepost for the broader business climate, especially in California.
To honor the moment, the trusty spreadsheet reviewed the Dow’s 5,000-point markers and how California fared in those periods using an economic metric (California unemployment), an interest rate (the average 30-year fixed mortgage), and home prices from the California Association of Realtors.
As we begin our data-filled voyage, let’s note the Dow first crossed 5,000 in November 1995 — back when you could buy the median-priced California single-family home for $176,000.
Dow passes 10,000 in December 1999: It took the stock index just over four years to double from 5,000 compared with a 28% gain for California homes to $225,000 in the same timeframe. This was an era when the economy broke loose from its early 1990s slumber. California unemployment dipped between 1995 and 1999 to 5% from 7.

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