As the Dow repeatedly bumped against 14,000 last Friday, a look back in time suggested the level is more than just a nice round number.
The average's past behaviour when it touched 14,000 suggests it is also a notable resistance area. It might seem uncanny that, after a steady climb in the best January percentage performance in 16 years, the Dow paused just shy of 14,000.
The Dow topped out at an intraday high of 13,969.99 on Tuesday - the highest level reached since October 17, 2007 - and at 13,966.13 on Wednesday. On Friday, after an encouraging January employment report - and better-than-expected data on consumer sentiment, manufacturing activity and construction spending - the Dow traded above 14,000 for the first time since October 17, 2007, and waffled around that level for most of the morning.
The Dow was up 135 at 13,995 in midday trading, just off its high of 14,004.38.
A good portion of technical analysis is so-called behavioural finance, which the Market Technicians Association defines as the study of how psychology can affect the financial markets. Technicians use charts to gauge past behaviour around specific levels, with the idea that the market is likely to repeat that behaviour when those levels are revisited.
And the way the Dow behaved the last time it reached 14,000 suggests it is psychologically, and therefore technically, significant. On the Dow's first approach at 14,000, in 2007, it shot up more than 500 points during the first half of July before peaking briefly at an intraday high of 13,989.11 on July 16.
The Dow traded above 14,000 intraday in three of the next four sessions and barely closed above it once, at 14,000.41 on July 19.
On July 20, the Dow reached a high of 14,009.27 before pulling an abrupt U-turn to close down 149 points.
* Dow Jones