If only Louis Rukeyser were alive to see it. I can almost see him standing up (from his grave), cheering wildly, donning a Statue of Liberty costume, and setting off fireworks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average breached another big, round, never-before-seen high — 17,000!

The fireworks are breathtaking. Cameras on a stick and pictures in the sky prove that the stock market has great value. What many forget of course is that these skyrockets go up, explode, and come crashing down to earth. Hopefully, I won’t be dead before it finally happens.

For the first half of the year, stocks are up around 6%. Interestingly, the lion’s share of that gain occurred within the last eight weeks — so much for “sell in May and go away” — at least so far.

Stocks closed nearly unchanged around the globe Monday on low volume. Precious metals and their miners rose a bit more than 1%. Tuesday, stocks in Asia rose slightly but in Europe they gained 0.9% and in the U.S. the rose 0.6% on low volume to post more record highs and drag the VXO back below 9. Precious metals miners declined about 1%. The Tuesday miracle marches on.

Wednesday stocks in Asia and the U.S. moved little on very low volume. In Europe, they rose slightly. Precious metals miners recovered the 1% they lost the day before.

After three days of holding steady, stock prices in Asia rose 0.8% on Thursday. Stocks in Europe rose 1% and in the U.S. they climbed 0.5% on very low volume. The euphoric trading day was shortened though as the VXO dropped nearly 5% further to close at 8.51. For the shortened trading week stocks powered upward over 1% while the VXO crashed 13% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 17,000 mark.

Friday stocks in Asia rose 0.3% and fell the same amount in Europe. In the U.S., markets were closed in remembrance of Independence Day. Sadly, it’s meaning has become a distant and distorted memory.