What Does a 20,000 Dow Mean?

The week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 20,000 points for the first time in history. Most analysts point to Trump’s vow to increase domestic infrastructure spending and cut both taxes and business regulations for the record-breaking market cap.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a calculation of market performance by looking at 30 big companies that are supposed to broadly represent the entire market. It has flaws, but it’s been widely used and trusted since its inception in 1896.

The rise between 19,000 and 20,000 during the course of 42 days between the election and the inauguration also marks one of the fastest growth periods in the index’s history.

The biggest movers in the index were the banks, including Goldman Sachs, which looks forward to increased interest rates and deregulation of banks.

To be clear, the 20,000 milestone doesn’t mean as much as it may seem. That number has been on a very gradual increase through the 1900s before ramping up from 1,000 points just 30 years ago. The trend was bound to reach 20,000 eventually.

Still, the number could have something of a placebo effect. Even though it represents a relatively small gain in just 30 huge companies of the thousands that make up the entire stock market, it could spark increased investment in what is perceived as a very strong economy.

But most analysts understand that the rise is banked on the assumption of President Trump’s plans. If infrastructure spending doesn’t happen or deregulation is not effective, the 20,000 may just be a firework instead of breakthrough.

Crop prices (Feb. 7)

Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma

Commodity Price (per bushel) Basis
Corn $3.04 -0.60
New-Crop Corn $3.37 -0.55
Soybeans $9.56 -0.80
Soybeans $9.37 -0.80
Wheat (SRW) $3.42 -0.81
New-Crop Wheat (SRW) $3.74 -0.75


Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay

Corn $3.21/bushel -0.43
New-Crop Corn $3.47/bushel -0.45

Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).

Gas Price Averages

United States: $2.27

United States one year ago: $1.74

Wisconsin: $2.23

Wisconsin one year ago: $1.57

Northern Door: $2.35

Sturgeon Bay: $2.32

Other Commodities

Gold: $1,234.70/troy ounce

Silver: $17.74/troy ounce

Oil: $52.02/barrel

Sources:,,,, Reuters, MarketWatch