The media is making too big a deal about Dow 12,000, a mark which may soon be hit. Or maybe not.
The Dow is a legacy index (technically an average and not even an index) which goes back to the days before computers when a market weighted index of 500 stocks, like the S&P 500, would have been impossible to calculate in a timely manner.
Yes, the Dow has passed it's previous all time high from 2000, but the S&P 500 better represents what Americans actually hold in their investment portfolios. The S&P has also been doing pretty well recently, closing on Friday at 1331.32. But that's still quite a bit off its all time high on September 1, 2000 of 1530.09. The S&P has to climb another 14.9% to return to where it was six years ago.