A substantial rebound in the market has taken the Dow Jones industrial average up to its highs of the year, and nearly all the way back to a level that hasn't been seen since June: 18,000.
And at this point, all the index needs in order to cross that elusive level is for two stocks to rise to analysts' average price targets.
The Dow is a price-weighted index, meaning it replicates a strategy in which an investor owns just one share of each stock in the group. For this reason, the higher the share price of a given stock, the more importance it has in the index. That's why right now, the Dow's most important stocks are 3M, Goldman Sachs and IBM.
Analysts are none too bullish on 3M or IBM. 3M shares are expected to stay flat, based on analysts' price targets as compiled by FactSet, while IBM is actually overvalued by 11 percent, going by the median analyst price target.
However, Goldman Sachs is seen as a serious candidate for outperformance. 57 percent of the analysts who cover the stock rate it as a "buy," and the median price target on the now-$157 name is $187. If Goldman makes the expected 19 percent rally, then it alone will add more than 200 points to the Dow.
That would take the index up near 17,935. It would still need a bit of help, then, to get to the 18-handle.