Bingo!The Dow started the month closing higher 10 straight days. The close on March 5 finally established a new all-time high. So, slightly more than four years after the crash low, the Dow surpassed the October '07 high of 14,165. Obviously, the remaining closes in the 10-day string also set new all-time highs.
The consistency of the month's climb was remarkable. Up days outnumbered down days 3 to 1. And, there was not a single plus or minus 1% day in the whole month. Suitably, the month ended with still another new all-time high, the 10th new all-time closing high of the month. The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) closed March at 14,578.54, up 3.7% for the month. (See chart above. Click to expand.)
Finally, to finish off the month in style, on the last trading day of the month the S&P 500 finally eclipsed its October '07 high as well, closing at 1569.19. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed the first quarter up more than 10%.
Where Are We Now? March 2013, 1st Quarter, Year & Recovery-To-Date Results
Here's where we stand vs some key dates and milestones.
- From the new 52-Week High of 14,579 on March 28: no change (0.0%)
- From Prior Month Close of 14,054 the Dow is up 524 points (3.7%)
- First Quarter: From 2012 Close of 13,104: Up 1474 points (11.3%) for the quarter & year
- From 52-Week Low of 12,101 on June 4, 2012: Up 2477 points (20.5%)
- From One Year Ago Close of 13,212 at end of March, 2012: the Dow is up 1367 points ( 10.3%).
- From Crash Low of 6547 on March 9, 2009: Up 8032 points (122.7%)
- From pre-Crash High of 14,165 on Oct 9, 2007: the Dow is up 414 points (2.9%)
For other related results, see February 2013 stock market results.
Note: At the end of the crash, the Dow had lost about 54% of its value (from the pre-crash high). For an explanation of how it can be up over 120% since then and still be barely above the pre-crash high, see The Importance of Avoiding Large Losses.
The Next 10 Years
My model for projecting 10-year stock market returns is currently projecting 10-year returns below 4.5%. Since my model is earnings based, this is a preliminary number. I'll have to wait for 2012 earnings data before finalizing the projection. I expect to post the "official" update later this month.
U.S. Treasury constant maturity interest rates were virtually unchanged from last month. Five year treasury yields were 0.77% at the end of both months; ten year yields decreased very slightly from 1.89% to 1.87%. My interest rate forecasting model continues to forecast increasing rates over the next five years. That model forecasts 1-year rates rising from the current 0.14% to 2.19% (down from 2.25% last month), and 5-year rates rising from 0.77% to 2.98% (down from 3.02% last month).
100 Years of Stock Market History: Bigger perspective on "Where are we now?" Includes 100-year chart and discussion of the long flat periods.
Dow Yearly Returns: bar graph of yearly total returns (i.e., including dividends)
What has the range of returns (minimum & maximum) been for 1,2, 3, ... 100-year periods?
10-Year Stock Market Projection The most recent "official" projection. Comparison of projections to actuals.
100 Years of Interest Rate History: graph of Treasury Note interest rates since 1900.
Who's Afraid of a Sideways Market?: Interesting perspective on long flat periods from Morningstar.
Why Fund Investors Earn Lower Returns Than the Funds They Own(!): the impact of timing.
For lists of other popular posts and an index of stock market posts, by subject area, see the sidebar to the left or the blog header at the top of the page.
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