The Dow industrials broke a psychological barrier on Thursday, clearing 17,000 for the first time after a better-than-expected June jobs report.
But the S&P 500 reaching 2,000 would be a more significant event, market strategists say.
"Nobody gets measured against the Dow; you follow the money, and the S&P 500 is the benchmark. It's up over 7 percent, and a lot of money managers aren't. So people look at their portfolios and wonder why. It puts pressure on those money managers who are under invested," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
And, while the Dow and S&P are in uncharted terrain, the Dow's year-to-date gain is under 3 percent, lagging both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, with the technology-heavy index also up more than 7 percent for 2014.