While the broader American “recovery” remains a frustrating mix of fits and starts, the U.S. stock market is officially back – more than five years later.

The Dow Jones industrial average raced past its record high of 14,200 this week – eclipsing the 14,198.10 mark it set way back in October of 2007.

Between 2007-09, the index lost 54 percent of its value.

So to recap … the week after politicians in Washington, D.C. finally get around to cutting government (if only by a little), stocks race to record highs.

Simple, right?

Obviously it’s not as simple as that … in fact earnings season is expected to land with a thud on Wall Street, while the impact of the fiscal cliff tax hikes (on wealthy investors and payroll employees) is also going to serve as a drain on the economy.