For the first time in five years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 on Friday afternoon. Predictably, that means different things to different people.
Some observers saw it as a sign that the economy is on its way back. Others consider it a hallmark of an overheated market, and that nothing will come of it but woe.
"To some, it's an important booster to hearts and minds, making investors feel optimistic and thus more willing to bet on the market," according to an Associated Press report published Friday on STLtoday.com.
Also on Friday, the New York Times reported on some glimmers of hope in the job market, including this note: "On the bright side, revised government data showed that the economy added 335,000 more jobs than originally estimated during all of 2012, including an additional 150,000 in the last quarter of the year."
Finally, again on Friday, the Kansas City Star seemed to throw a little cold water on any suggestion that Missouri's economy was picking up steam. Citing Creighton University’s monthly Mid-America Business Conditions Index, the newspaper called growth in Kansas and Missouri "lackluster."
What about from where you sit? Do you see any signs that the economy is getting better? Have you seen friends and neighbors getting jobs, where before they couldn't? Are you feeling less of a squeeze on your pocketbook? What will it take to make that happen?