Market Extra: What Dow 20,000 means for stock-market investors

What’s in a number anyway? That may be the question stock-market investors pose as the Dow Jones Industrial Average inches closer to the psychological milestone of 20,000.

The Dow DJIA, -0.60% sold off on Wednesday as the Federal Open Market Committee raised rates for the first time in 12 months and communicated that future hikes would come at a faster pace than had previously been expected. Still, the Dow was still just about 200 points shy of spanning the 1,000-point distance since it reached 19,000 on Nov. 22, which would mark the fastest such ascent for the gauge in its history.

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