The Dow Jones’s new high is fake

The Dow Jones industrial average passed 14,164.53 today. That's its highest reading ever. Huzzah!

Or not. That number doesn't adjust for inflation. As CNBC's Jeff Cox writes, "in inflation-adjusted dollars, the Dow would need to hit 15,731.54 to break the record." In fact, in inflation-adjusted terms, the Dow is still well below it's 2000 high.

Oh, and the Dow Jones industrial average, which measures the performance of 30 companies, is a useless market indicator, and you should follow the S&P 500 instead.

Sorry to be a bummer.

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Neil Irwin · March 5, 2013