It’s often said that the stock market is not the real economy, meaning: Wall Street traders make educated guesses about the future, so don’t read too much into this or that moment’s results. Stocks bounce around. GDP numbers, hiring and other data better reflect the nation’s health.
But if the stock market isn’t the real economy, it’s real life for tens of millions of Americans who have 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings. If you’re one of those people, check your mailbox or online account for second-quarter results to get a satisfying jolt: Your balance is rising. Because the economy continues to grow, and add jobs at a fast clip, 10 years into a record expansion. At this juncture, the stock market reflects the real economy.