Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Samantha Hayes reportingWhen the closing bell sounded on the New York Stock Exchange today, stocks closed higher than they have since before the September 11th attacks of 2001.
There is also hope it was ringing in better economic times across America and here in Utah.
Yes, stocks soared. But what do the numbers really mean to the average Utahn when it comes to things like having a good job, buying a home, or saving for retirement?
You never want to get over confident with the stock market, but it seems the news today is good on several fronts.
Real time market information at the fingertips of business students at Westminster College. Today is the day to be learning about the stock market.
Ryan Hessenthaler/ Westminster College: "The economy appears to be heating up and starting to move again, just the momentum of the markets over the last little while, more and more buyers off the sidelines."
It's easy to figure out why those buyers stayed out of the game- Enron, Worldcom, resignation of the FCC chairman. It's nice to finally have some good news.
People who are watching the market say perhaps the best thing to come out of the upward trend is what it's doing for your 401K.
Roger Smedley/ Financial Advisor: "People have their money in 401Ks and finally they are being revived and coming back to life again."
That potentially means a more financially secure retirement.
Factors some analysts say are driving the increase are also good news-- the lowest interest rates in 40 years and a drop in unemployment to 5.9 percent.
If you invest in Utah companies, like Zions Bank, Novell, Franklin Covey, pat yourself on the back. An index started April 1st of last year by Westminster College shows huge gains--no joke.
Ryan Hessenthaler/ Westminster College: "That index has gained over 85 percent since April 1st, whereas the NASDAQ is up 55 - 57 percent, the S&P is up about 30-32 percent over that same time."
Analysts say historically December and January have been the best months, and election years are particularly good. But we'll hope this surge is a true indicator that the economy, rather than chance, is in our favor.