The financial adviser at the Edward Jones branch at 2880 N. Tracy Blvd. has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Index reach new highs in the past two weeks.
On March 5, the index climbed past 14,198.10 for the first time since Oct. 9, 2007, closing at 14,539.14 on Thursday, March 14, an all-time high.
The previous peak of the stock index was before big lending and investment companies tanked and the housing market collapsed, sending the Dow to a nadir of 6,547.05 on March 9, 2009, and dragging the nation’s economy into the Great Recession.
But the stock market has made what Dyer called an “unbelievable” comeback, and the 58-year-old is cautiously bullish.
Despite a growing national debt and political brinkmanship regarding federal spending, the 15-year veteran of financial markets said the rise of the Dow shows that the economy is recovering.
Dyer said those who stayed in the stock market after the crash have mostly seen their investment portfolios bounce back.
“It takes time to recover,” Dyer said. “There’s been so much bad news, people just want to go forward with business, and (investors) see the stocks at a reasonable price.”
But while the stock market can be a sign of recovery, it is “by no means the most important indicator,” according to Jeffrey Michael, director of the University of the Pacific Business Forecasting Center.
“The vast majority of the stock market is held by the wealthy and high-income households,” he said. “The average resident of this county probably doesn’t own any stock, or maybe a small amount through a pension fund.”
For residents of Tracy and Mountain House, Michael said, home values and employment rates are likely more important. In San Joaquin County, those have yet to return to their fall 2007 levels.
Michaels predicts 2014 will see more homes built — there has already been an increase in the number of building permits taken out in the south county.
He said the county might not reach its pre-recession number of jobs until 2017.
“Even at that time,” he said, “the unemployment rate will be higher, just because there’s more people.”
The county’s unemployment rate is at least moving in a positive direction. It was 18.1 percent in December 2010, 16.1 in December 2011 and 14.5 percent in December 2012.
According to statistics released Wednesday, March 13, by Tracy Development Services Director Andrew Malik, the city added 2,500 jobs in 2012.
Malik’s press release stated that the strongest sector in Tracy was the Health and Social Services Industry, which added 676 jobs. Finance grew by 660 jobs, with banks and real estate adding 402 positions.
Michael said 2012 was “the first good year for job growth in this area for six years, if not longer.”
But Michael added that locals shouldn’t be content with modest gains when the county’s unemployment rate is still above 10 percent.
“(We) shouldn’t be satisfied until we get it into single digits,” he said.
• Contact Jon Mendelson at 835-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.