While there has been a lot of drama on the road back to Dow 14,000, it has been mostly an up move in the markets for the last four years, punctuated by a few hair-raising but brief down periods. (Read more: Stocks Jolted by Jobs Data; Dow Briefly Tests 14,000)
The Dow closed at a 12-year low of 6,547 on March, 9, 2009 and went almost straight up for the rest of the year, passing 10,000 on October 14, 2009...a move of nearly 3,500 points (53 percent!) in less than eight months. (Read more: S&P Tops 1,500: Where Market Goes From Here)
The Flash Crash in May 2010 was a momentary blip as the Dow again dropped below 10,000,...but the markets really took off when Ben Bernanke gave his famous speech in Jackson Hole in August 2010 outlining the Fed's QE2 program.
The Dow moved 2,000 points...about 20 percent...in the next five months, crossing 12,000 on February 1, 2011.
The European debt crisis, combined with a downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard and Poor's, caused the Dow to drop below 11,000 in August 2011.
But after several volatile months the Dow resumed its advance, passing 13,000 on Feb. 28, 2012.
More worries about Europe dropped the market in May of 2012 to just a hair above 12,000, before resuming a choppy rally that saw the Dow close at 13,104 on Dec. 31, 2012. (Watch: Byron Wien: A Major Sell-Off in the Works)