Pop some Champagne, put on some party hats, and grab those paper things that unfold and make an annoying noise when you blow into them — the Dow reportedly reached 13,000 for, like, one second this morning! The number 13,000 has many zeroes in it, which, for some reason, makes it an exponentially more important symbolic milestone than, say, 12,987, or 13,004! Yay!
The irrelevance of the number 13,000 notwithstanding, though, the stock market really has come a long way from it's recession low of 6,547 on March 9, 2009, and the most recent surge speaks to growing confidence that Europe's debt crisis will be resolved without creating a black hole which consumes the United States and everything we hold dear.
It goes without saying — but we're about to say it anyway, right now — that this is good news for President Obama. Too many people are still unemployed and the budget is still a mess, but psychological stock market milestones, and the media stories they produce, foster a general sense of optimism in the direction of the economy. Nobody is happier about all those beautiful zeroes today than Obama.