• As of Friday's close, the Dow Jones industrial average has risen 31.4 percent since Oct. 9, 2002.Bill and Dean Esmay (in the comments) blame the Bush tax cut, which is reasonable, but don't discount the positive economic impact of the War on Terror. Good stuff!
• The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 32.6 percent.
• And the technology-loaded Nasdaq composite index is up a stunning 68.8 percent.
Those gains rival historical norms, including the robust annual growth rates of the 1990s market boom.
The stock market recaptured $3 trillion in value of the $8.5 trillion that was lost between March 2000 and October 2002, according to the Wilshire 5000 index. And the rebound is worldwide. This means that, barring a calamity of epic proportions, the stock market will end its dreadful drought by posting positive numbers for calendar 2003, the first since 1999.