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Dow set to outperform S&P in second half?

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The Dow shattered through the 17,000-mark Thursday for the first time ever. So far this year, however, the index has been left behind.

Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 7 percent, while the Dow is up 3 percent.

Although the two indexes are calculated differently—the Dow being a price-weighted index and the S&P 500 a capitalization-weighted one, the first-half divergent performance appears to be more the exception than the rule.

Historically, there have been only seven other instances when the S&P outperformed the Dow by over 4 percent going into the second half of the year.

The few times the S&P outperformed the Dow in the first half of the year, the Dow returned the favor by closing the gap, and outperforming the S&P in the second half.

In fact, if you exclude the market's devastating performance in the second half of 1931 when both indexes lost over 45 percent, the average gain for the Dow in the second half is over 6 percent compared with 2 percent for the S&P.

Second Half Performance

Year
DJIA(1st-Half)
SPX(1St-Half)
DJIA(2nd-Half)
SPX(2nd-Half)
2009 -3.75 1.78 24.88 22.53
2000 -9.13 -1 3.24 -9.23
1985 10.21 14.72 15.56 9.26
1968 -0.81 3.22 6.09 5.18
1948 4.58 9.41 -6.09 -8.72
1943 20.08 26.41 -5.01 -5.34
Average 6.45 2.28

The last time it happened was in 2009, when the Dow closed the first half of the year down 3.7 percent, while the S&P rose 1.8 percent. In the second-half of '09, the Dow advanced 25 percent, while the S&P gained 22 percent.

Will history repeat itself?

Here's a look at some of the best Dow performers year-to-date:

Dow'sYTD Outperformers

Symbol
Company
Last
High
Low
YTD %Chg
CAT Caterpillar Inc. 109.56 109.95 109.3 20.60%
INTC Intel Corporation 30.98 31.05 30.8 19.40%
MRK Merck & Co. 59.05 59.1 58.37 18.00%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 105.86 105.97 105.3 15.60%
DIS Walt Disney Company 86.44 86.7 86.2 13.10%
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 41.9 41.9 41.53 12.00%
CSCO Cisco Systems 25.03 25.14 24.87 11.60%
UNH UnitedHealth Group 82.49 82.52 81.07 9.50%
AXP American Express Company 95.21 95.78 95.06 4.90%
TRV Travelers Companies 94.62 95.25 94.43 4.50%
CVX Chevron Corporation 130.23 130.92 129.99 4.30%
MCD McDonald's Corporation 100.53 101.08 100.35 3.60%
MMM 3M Company 145.23 145.3 143.56 3.60%
KO Coca-Cola Company 42.29 42.41 42.15 2.40%

—BY CNBC's Pradip Sigdyal