Options Action

Dow Record, Then and Now

Alex Rosenberg, CNBC Producer
Getty Images

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has made a new all-time high, surpassing the record it set in October of 2007. And while it has been an impressive run for the market over the past four years, perhaps we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back just yet.

One need only glance over a few key market metrics to see how different the world is now than it was in those heady autumn days of 2007.

(

Back then we had gross domestic product growth of 2.5 percent. Today, we were recently relieved to see our growth number revised up to a less-than-breakneck 0.1 percent. Back then we carried around a $97 billion deficit, but now we're in hock to the tune of $975.6 billion. And perhaps most troublingly, back then, 6.7 million Americans were considered unemployed; now 13.2 million, nearly double that, are looking for work.

So what does this all prove?

(Read More: How We Got Here, Where We're Going)

As Oppenheimer Chief Market Technician Carter Worth puts it, "The warm blanket of $85 billion in monthly Fed buying has given investors a tremendous amount of courage." In other words, these numbers make it clear that the Fed's bond buying has driven this rally, plain and simple.

That's why the most important comparison may be this one: In October of 2007, the Federal Reserve had a $0.89 trillion balance sheet. Now that has ballooned to $3.01 trillion.

This also helps explain why the yield on the ten-year has dropped from 4.6 percent to a mere 1.9 percent.

(Read More: What the Pros Are Saying About the Market's Rally)

Check out all the figures below, and come up with your own judgment about what has driven this rally.

Dow Jones Industrial AverageAbout 14200About 14200
Regular Gas Price$2.75$3.73
GDP Growth+2.5%+0.1%
Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force)6.7 million13.2 million
Americans On Food Stamps26.9 million47.69 million
Size of Fed's Balance Sheet$0.89 trillion$3.01 trillion
US Debt as a Percentage of GDP38%74.2%
US Deficit (LTM)$97 billion$975.6 billion
Total US Debt Outstanding$9.008 trillion$16.43 trillion
US Household Debt$13.5 trillion$12.87 trillion
Labor Force Participation Rate65.8%63.6%
Consumer Confidence99.569.6
S&P Rating of the USAAAAA+
10 Year Treasury Yield4.64%1.89%
NYSE Average LTM Volume (per day)1.3 billion shares545 million shares