The Dow Jones industrial average broke the 10,000 mark Wednesday for the first time since October 2008, a key milestone in a giddy rally that has boosted the indicator by more than 50 percent since its March low.
The Dow gained 144.8 points to close at 10,015.86, a figure that is still 4,000 points lower than its all-time high in October 2007.
Even though the bull has been back lately, however, some investment advisers warn that it may be a brief visit. Their customers, too, remain cautious, as broad economic indicators signal a rugged road to recovery.
Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services in Sacramento, characterized the most recent market climb as "a bear market rally, or what I call an echo boom rally."
For now, though, Springer said there's nothing wrong with enjoying the ride.
"The good news is that people are feeling better about things," he said. "The economy is looking better. The threat of catastrophe is gone. So people should feel good about that."
Investor Debra Harrer offered a subdued reaction to the news that the Dow had cracked the 10,000 barrier.
Harrer recently emerged from early retirement to take a job as an analyst with the state Board of Equalization. Last year's market drop dealt a significant blow to her and husband Bill's retirement accounts.
"While it's good, is it too much too soon?" she asked of the recent rally. Answering her own question, she said, "I'm expecting a correction. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Everybody's partying like it's 1999, but we know what happened in 2000," she said, referring to the steep run-up in the Dow during the 1990s, and the subsequent drop.
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