Here's what has driven the Dow rally to 40,000, and why it could keep going

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Passing major milestones such as the 40,000 barrier the Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsed this week makes for a nice headline, but market experts do not take much else from the move.

What really matters is what underpins the market, namely, whether companies are seeing sustainable profits, where monetary and fiscal policy is positioned and what the future landscape is for economic health and specifically the labor market.

Fortunately for the market, most of those variables look pretty positive these days, and are largely behind the blue-chip average’s latest landmark move.

Forty thousand “is a great milestone, but [at the] end of the day there isn’t much difference between 39,999 and 40k,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at Carson Group. “Still, this is a great reminder of how far we’ve come. Think about how many people were talking about recessions and bear markets all of last year. Now we are once again back to new highs.”