The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a composite of the nation’s top 30 stocks by market capitalization, recorded its best first quarter results since 1998. The DJIA, which ended Thursday at 12,319.73, closed up 742.22 points, or 6.41%, in the first quarter of 2011 and was up three consecutive quarters and seven of the last eight.
"It shows that investors are once again comfortable with risk," say David Krein (left), senior director of product development and analytics of Dow Jones Indexes. "They've absorbed the recent geographical events and understand what it means. From a behavioral standpoint, they're good at digesting the implications to their portfolio."
According to Krein, the Dow is up 26.05% over the past three quarters and has had the best first quarter point gain since 1998, when it gained 891.56 points. It also has had the biggest first quarter percent gain since 1999, when it rose 6.59%, and the second largest first quarter point gain in its history.
Other highlights include:
- Up 93.39 points, or 0.76% in March.
- Up four consecutive months and six of the last seven.
- Gained in five of the last six years in March.
- Biggest one-day point and percent drop since March 16.
- Down 1844.80 points, or 13.02%, from its record close of 14164.53 on October 9, 2007.
- Up 12.75% from 52 weeks ago.
- Up 88.17% from its 12-year closing low of 6547.05 on March 9, 2009.
- Up 6.08% from its lowest close this year of 11613.30 on March 16.