Mad Money

What Helped the Dow Finish at a Multi-Year High?


The Dow Jones industrial average finished at a multi-year high Thursday, despite having logged its sharpest decline of the year a day earlier.

So what was working in the market’s favor today?

To start, weekly jobless claims posted a surprising drop of 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, according to the Labor Department, falling to its lowest level in almost four years. To Cramer, employment gives the biggest read on the health of the economy. More people working means more people will be spending money, he said.

Meanwhile, the market was helped by news of strong auto sales. posted its highest profit ever last year, though the automaker reported its quarterly results fell short of expectations. What’s good for GM is good for America, Cramer said. He thinks GM will continue to improve sales over time.

Elsewhere in the market, housing starts gained more than expected, climbing to 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 699,000 units in January, according to the Commerce Department. The U.S. may have never fallen into a recession if the housing market overheated, Cramer said. So if housing can turnaround, he thinks the overall economy will, too. He thinks a housing recovery can happen in the second-half of the year.

So what’s the bottom line?

“Those who walked out of the concert yesterday because they didn't like what they were hearing are today's big losers," Cramer said. "Those who decided they were simply listening to a discordant rehearsal for the real deal today were rewarded.”

— contributed to this report

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