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If the analysts had their way, the Dow would already be above 20,000

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 19,000 for the first time ever Tuesday, and if the analysts are right, crossing about the next milestone should be a cinch.

Actually, based on analyst price targets, the Dow ought to be trading at about 20,070.

This is the level at which the index would be if each of the 30 constituent stocks moved to the median price at which that stock's analysts believe it should (and will soon) be trading.

The stock that would contribute the most to the Dow if it jumped to its target price overnight is Apple. The name is currently below $112, but the average analyst believes it is fairly valued at $133, according to targets compiled by FactSet.

Unsurprising given that the Dow is a price-weighted index, the second- and third-biggest hypothetical contributors are two more high-dollar-value stocks, Home Depot and UnitedHealth.

To be sure, the fact that the Dow would rise if each stock moved to its price target is unremarkable. As a rule, analysts tend to be bullish on the stocks they cover.

Yet not every stock would add to the Dow upon shape shifting to its target. Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs would shave 96 and 69 points off of the Dow level, respectively, if they fell to their median price targets. Not coincidentally, these are two stocks that have seen huge post-election rallies.

As of midday Monday, the Dow found itself at 19,110, meaning the key level is less than 5 percent away.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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