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So The Dow Hit A Record; Now Where Do We Go?

That same day, Saddam Hussein warned that Iraq would retaliate against other oil-exporting countries unless they curbed their production. Two weeks later, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Oil prices surged.

As the Gulf War ramped up, the Dow entered a brief bear market from July to October 1990, falling 21 percent.

â¿¿RECORD BREAKER: April 17, 1991. The Dow breaks the record held since 1990, closing at 3,004.46.

â¿¿RISE CONTINUES: It keeps rising for almost nine years, gains 290 percent and peaks at 11,722.98 on Jan. 14, 2000.

In October 1990, a new bull run began, one that would last through 2000. Its length was second only to the bull market that spanned the 1950s.

An early milestone of this bull run happened on April 17, 1991: The Dow reached 3,004.46, passing its July 1990 high and posting its first close above 3,000.

The index was up 27 percent from its October 1990 low during the Gulf War.

New technology like email, cell phones and, especially, personal computers, fueled a new era in workplace productivity. The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, an encouragement to American investors. The Dow took off, and when there were unsettling developments in other parts of the world, like the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and crises in Russia and Brazil the following year, it kept rising anyway. The index cracked the 10,000 milestone in March 1999, and 11,000 barely a month later.

On Jan. 13, 2000, President Bill Clinton visited the New York Stock Exchange and told traders that he liked the way the market was looking. The next day, the Dow hit another record, 11,722.98.

The Dow started to fall the next trading day. The bubble made by technology stocks soon burst. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, uncertainty about the wars that would follow, and accounting scandals at companies like Enron, WorldCom and Tyco left investors shell-shocked.

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