Dow Jones cartoon.

The Dow went over 10,000. Good news, for those who had the money to invest! At least, that’s what I thought, when I drew this cartoon last week.

Dow Jones pumpkin cartoon But even when I was drawing it, although I like the stock markets, think it’s very nicely capitalistic (although not very nice to most people this year), I had a feeling there was something sinister about the Dow. Sure, he’s smiling, and has those green money eyes. But those teeth can cut, and I tried not to make this a silly pumpkin. It’s a serious pumpkin.

Money at CNN agrees with me: It says Don’t Trust It!

But even economists who agree the economy is in recovery say that growth will be slow and difficult, with continued job losses, tight credit and further declines in home prices. And even some who believe that the current Dow 10,000 level is justified say there’s still a significant risk that the economy will take a step backward.

Several experts point out than many of the relatively strong earnings reports helping to lift the markets in recent days are being driven by cost cuts, rather than strong revenue growth that would be a better indicator of consumers and businesses being willing to spend again. If businesses keep cutting costs to make the numbers that Wall Street wants to see, that can only put more downward pressure on jobs and wages, and result in weaker economic growth or another downturn.

I’m only a cartoonist, so all this economics talk is making my head spin. Certainly everyone I know who was laid off is still laid off.  Still, I’m glad to see a little optimism, anyway.

The caption: Dow Jones as pumpkinhead. I wonder what L. Frank Baum would think. Happy Halloween!