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


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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