What's the connection between Y2K and the stock market ?

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I was told recently by a 50-something year old computer programmer that the stock market hitting the 10,000 mark was a good indication that the Y2K bug will not be as big of a problem as once thought. Can anyone explain what the connection is? I'm sure it has something to do with the number of zeros, right?

-- Julie (DesertJewel@Hotmail.com), December 04, 1999


There was some uninformed speculation that a "rollover" from four digits (9999) to five (10,000) would be a problem. This has nothing to do with date format problems. You will note that the Dow is actually expressed as a DECIMAL number (e.g., 11286.18) Financial calculations always involve number types (there is even a "currency" type in some languages) that give you dozens of digit possibilties to both the left and right of the decimal point. So, a rollover from Dow 9999.99 to 10000.01 would be no more of a big deal, computationally, than rolling back from 1000.01 to 999.99 -- WHICH IT WELL COULD. :-)

Either your friend was pulling your leg, or he misunderstood your question, or you misunderstood the answer, or he is a doofus.

-- A (A@AisA.com), December 04, 1999.

The connection is:

Gamblers like superstitions/omens to give them a false sense of security so they don't have to focus on the reality of their risks.

That's like CNN's d@mn polls implying that if Americans are not concerned about y2k then **poof** they have magically eradicated the problem by the sheer bullsh&t power of possitive thinking.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 04, 1999.

There is no connection whatsoever between Y2K and the stock market. The stock market is not connected in any way to anything real.

-- cody (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 04, 1999.

How quickly we forget! The connection is that John Koskinen stated something along the lines of "The market has factored in all the possibilities of the date change and as you can see it is going up." So, officially there is no problem because if there were a problem the market, in it's omnipotence, would know it. HTH

-- drac (greenspanisgod@frb.giov), December 04, 1999.


There may be several kinds of connections between Y2K and stock markets, but the kind suggested by the way your question is worded was well covered by A.

Other kinds of connections have to do with the possible effects of potential Y2K problems on economic activities. Sometimes, stock markets may be affected by economic activities, although recent market behaviour may raise doubts about that suggestion. :-)


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), December 04, 1999.


There are two entirely different contexts being intertwined here, between the stock market and Y2K.

1) The ability of the market's internal systems' software to represent a DOW value higher than 9999. Obviously, it can. This is not in the SLIGHTEST way related to Y2K. Anymore than the ability of your car's odometer to represent a value higher than 99999 is.

2) The effect on the stock market if people thought that all of their computer maintained assets were going to turn to vapor on January 1, 2000, would probably have a negative influence, causing a rather low DOW among other things. On the other hand, the fact that it's soaring indicates that people don't see anything ahead other than sun shine and blue skies as we head into 2000. Note that the actual broken computer code, which is what the Y2K problem is really all about, could not give a rat's ass WHAT investors think.

By the way, do you like to mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 04, 1999.

Apparently there IS no connection between the DJIA and Y2K.

-- coprolith (coprolith@fakemail.com), December 04, 1999.

Thanks for all the informative answers. And as far as mudwrestling goes, it sure looks like fun but I've never tried it! Nice email address King of Spain!

-- Julie (DesertJewel@Hotmail.com), December 04, 1999.

A little off the wall, but try this one: You're the federal government. You're concerned about a bank run. You make a plan - drive the stock market up to lure investors. Suck as much free capital into the market as you can, and then crash the market quickly. Take the wind out of the run.

Too conspiracy theory? Probably... but just a thought.

-- chip (disfeet@aol.com), December 04, 1999.

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