What's the Dow most likely to hit next -- 14,000 or 12,000 -- and why?

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"12000! Democrats are the main reason! Oil will go higher and so will taxes. Even on cap gains! Enjoy it while you can, I wish it were different but they will make it tank!" -- Randy S., North Carolina

“Investors have nowhere to go but the stock market. The housing market is dead for another 16 months, and banks are offering low savings interest rates. There has never been any inflation and consumers continue to shop. The stock market is headed to 14000 and above!” -- Kurt, Washington

“14,000 by year’s end. Liquidity and momentum are on the Bull’s side.” -- Grady B., GA

“I believe 14,000. In a word -- momentum, momentum, momentum. Forget the fundamentals, subprime etc., it will take an act of God to smack down this market, investors will continue to jump in until their shoeshine boy starts giving out stock tips.” -- Daryle, Washington

“The economy is pretty solid despite high fuel prices and low housing starts. We live in a faster paced world than even a decade ago. When technology advances the pace of production, the markets have to move with it, so does the DOW. The Dow levels are based on solid earnings. Will this pace keep up? I think it is prone to move even faster. So I see a DOW 14000 by early next year.” -- Tony L., New York

“I think 12,000. People are short term focused and led that way by business media. They are looking for any excuse to sell. Same old cycle. I hope so, always looking to buy at bargain prices.” -- Mark C., South Carolina

“15,000 by next year. The economy is rock solid!” -- S.

“12,000 - ya filled up your tank lately?” -- Bob, Illinois

“12000! Sell in May and go away!! Always been, always will be.” -- S.F.
“12,000 - Some profit taking, a slow down in earnings, simmering world events, and a deterioration in the US economy will result in a moderate correction.” -- C.K., Washington

“This feels like 1999 to me so look out for the market to have a considerable correction. Hopefully we won't lose all our gains and the market won't take 6 years to recover.” -- Keith, Texas

“14000, due to the excess liquidity from our international trading partners.” -- C.A.

More comments...

“I say it will drop a little but head toward 14,000 maybe by summer's end. The Housing Market has hit bottom and now the real homebuyers are buying. The speculators have taken the gains/losses from housing and put their money into stable stocks. The new speculators see the market as more stable thus putting more money back into the market. Companies are making profits and investors love profits. So the Dow hasn't seen its end yet.” -- Michael M., Florida

“14,000. I remember this question was asked only 6 months ago, what’s next 11,000 or 13,000 and here we are today. There’s still a lot of $$$ on the sidelines.” -- Jeff, California

“15,000 is the next stop on this incredible bull run. Earnings are strong, interest rates are low, the dollar is weak, and liquidity is abundant. What more do you need?” -- Joel L., MA

“I feel that it will see 12,000 first. The housing market is relatively flat, we have over-inflated oil prices, and the bond market is lagging behind. The economy is still relatively unstable and a correction is what is needed to help unemployment and company earnings.” -- Alex H, Florida

“It has been an abnormally long bull market. The saying " Go away in May " will hold true this year with the down hitting 12,000 before it hits 14,000.” -- Adrian L.

“12,000, most definitely. Too many buyers got left behind when the DOW quickly bounced off of 12,000. They're not about to buy into this parabolic sucker. Besides, oil is going up, up, up ... and housing is going down, down, down.” -- Jeff S., Tennessee

“Well I would only hope it would hit 12000 again before going to 14000 or i think were in for another very big correction that may last quite awhile.” -- R.M.

"Dow will go to 12,000 first because it needs a rest. The Dow will resume its upward trend immediately after the Fed meeting in May." -- Duane, Florida

"12,000. Profit taking." -- Marvin E., California

"The Dow will fall back into the 12,500 mark by this Friday due to profit taking from one day rallies like Amazon.com and Alcoa, Inc. Yet with earnings much higher than expected this week, the Dow should reach over the historical 13,000 mark." -- Jack S., North Carolina

More comments...

"Less than 12,000. Reason - consumer debt." -- E.P.

North Carolina"I am bearish on this one. Although we may see a short term rally going higher than 13k due to the upcoming earnings report for the next few days. I think the Dow hitting 14k is highly unlikely. Looking at the how weak the dollar is, inflation becoming a foreseeable problem in the European economies, especially the U.K. and with China going red hot. The U.S. housing sector growing weaker, our exports growing due to a weak dollar and imports not exactly growing due to high dollar value from foreign countries, although we may have jobs slightly growing percentage wise, U.S. inflation a worry, overall the economy seems to be heading towards stagflation if not a definite slowdown. With all this to consider, I see the market heading to a correction, we may say the Dow 12k again and remain there for some time until the years end." --
A.S.

"14,000 of course. Investors have nothing else to put their money into but to buy stocks. The way the Dow is going right now, I will definitely ride the bull market." -- R.S., Hawaii

"I believe the Dow could reach as high as 14,000 or higher by the end of the year. If the bulls remain on course." -- Chuck H., Mississippi

"Be ready 14,000 because here we come. Not because of any exceedingly great outlook for the GDP in the near future. Also, the huge deficit the Federal government is amassing like they have an unlimited credit card limit is not going away anytime soon. However, the main reasons we will see the Dow hit 14k first is because much of the bad news has been factored in prior to the start of the earnings season. Moreover, companies will beat earnings expectations at a rate of at least 3 to 1 because of the low expectations placed on them this quarter. That said 14k is going to happen in four to six weeks." -- Greg L., Wisconsin