(CBS) — The stock market delivered an early Christmas present, closing above the 18,000 mark for the first time.

Morningstar economist Bob Johnson says while the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting a record high 18,000 points Tuesday is good news, he’s more excited for the five percent increase in the GDP.

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“That’s a huge number — that’s the best in a decade, and so I think that’s what got people excited and pushed the Dow up to 18,000,” he says.

Johnson says the combination of lower gas prices and people spending more means confidence is back in the economy and for some reason — consumers put a lot of stock in the Dow Jones.

“You know it’s not the best measure,” Johnson said. “We as economists don’t like it very much because it’s only 30 stocks and it’s done based on what the price of the stock is.”

But for some reason, consumers feel better when the Dow is up.

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“Any positive indicator is good news for them,” said Paul Fitzgerald of the Alder School of Psychology. “Basically people are looking at a snapshot. And they’re saying ok how are things looking? Is it a day to feel good or a day to feel bad?”

Johnson says while consumers feel pretty good now, we’re still not back to a hundred percent.

“While consumers are spending pretty good, it hasn’t yet turned up in better housing numbers or better business investment numbers and I’m not really hopeful that turns up in 2015.”

The Dow is up 900 points in five days, which Johnson calls “remarkable.”

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He also says if gas prices stay where they are, consumers will continue to spend.