How Apple Just Helped the Stock Market Hit a Historic Milestone

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
REX Shutterstock.

After making market watchers wait with bated breath for several days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the historic 22,000 mark today. (The index ended the trading day Tuesday at 21,963.)

Several strong earnings reports over the past few weeks helped the 30-stock index pull off gains, but it was a home run by tech giant Apple Inc. today that powered the Dow toward its third historic milestone of 2017. (The company reported earnings per share of $1.67 and revenues of $45.4 billion. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $1.57 and revenue of $44.89 billion.)

The markets have been up and down since the November elections, but the Dow crossed its first landmark of the year in January when it topped 20,000.

Experts said the milestone was bolstered by newly inaugurated President Donald Trump’s decision to sign several executive orders, as well as his promises to slash corporate taxes, cut regulations and boost domestic growth.

More historic gains came on March 1 when the index crossed 21,000, but advances had tempered for several months amid concerns over President Trump’s ability to implement many of the pro-growth policies espoused during his campaign and early weeks in the White House.

While momentum around the markets has provided a financial and emotional lift for some, for footwear and apparel sellers, a host of negative trends — which have very little to do with stocks — persist.

Macroeconomic factors — such as a low unemployment rate and cheap gas prices — have created a relatively healthy consumer backdrop during the past two years. Yet consumers have resisted the urge to spend on product, opting instead for experiential buys. At the same time, the rise of e-commerce pure plays and a shift to digital has challenged traditional retail firms.