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CNBC Turns 20: Best Performers Over 2 Decades

CNBC's 20th Anniversary
CNBC's 20th Anniversary

20 years ago today – on April 17, 1989 – the Consumer News and Business Channel launched. And how the network has evolved – from showing how to cook chicken in a microwave on the first day of broadcasting to covering the current global economic crisis over the past year.

But just as the network grew, so did the markets. Take a look at how the markets and various stocks have performed over the past two decades:

Dow Jones Industrial Average Components

Of the 30 current Dow components, only 16 were members of the index when CNBC launched back in 1989. Only one of those (General Motors ) is down in that time frame, while Procter & Gamble is the top performer.

Here are the 16 stocks that are still in the Dow today:

Change Since 4/17/89
Procter & Gamble +780%
United Technologies +723%
McDonald’s +718%
Coca-Cola +594%
ExxonMobil +540%
Chevron* +398%
IBM +265%
3M +233%
General Electric +211%
American Express +146%
Merck +144%
Boeing +141%
AT&T** +130%
DuPont +60%
Alcoa +15%
General Motors -94%

*Chevron left the index in 1999, before rejoining it in 2008
**Recall, Dow component SBC acquired AT&T in 2005 and took on the AT&T name for the combined company

Major U.S. Indices Change Since 4/17/89
Dow Industrials +248%
Dow Transports +181%
Dow Utilities +77%
S&P 500 +187%
Nasdaq Composite +300%
Russell 2000 +194%

International Indices Change Since 4/17/89
Hong Kong +397%
U.K. +97%
Japan -74%

More Top Stocks, Funds and Indices

Other Notable Large Cap Stocks

Below is the performance since April 17, 1989 of some of today's large cap stocks:

Change Since 4/17/89
EMC +15975%
Dell +11499%
United Healthcare +10973%
Oracle +6718%
Microsoft +5398%
Lowe’s +2584%
Nike +2188%
Medtronic +2149%
Home Depot +1978%
Amgen +1741%
Intel +1624%
Walgreen +1182%
Apple +1146%
Wal-Mart +1059%
Target +919%
Colgate Palmolive +869%
Johnson & Johnson +795%
Burlington Northern +788%
Wells Fargo +742%
Pepsi +637%
Altria +636%
Texas Instruments +604%
Avon Products +593%
Hewlett-Packard +575%
General Dynamics +561%
Abbott Laboratories +520%
Schering Plough +470%
Pfizer +456%
Costco Wholesale +442%
Schlumberger +439%
Bank of New York +428%
FedEx +366%
Caterpillar +343%
Occidental Petroleum +337%
Southern +307%
Honeywell +291%
Wyeth +291%
ConocoPhillips +248%
CVS Caremark +241%
Norfolk Southern +235%
Walt Disney +207%
JPMorgan Chase +190%
Campbell Soup +180%
Halliburton +159%
Citigroup +145%
Heinz +123%
Baker Hughes +91%
Bristol Myers Squibb +77%
Verizon +71%
Sara Lee +58%
Weyerhauser +22%
Bank of America +19%
Regions Financial +10%
Xerox -34%
Dow Chemical -43%
Ford -53%
Sprint -63%

While EMC was the best performer in the S&P for the past 20 years and GM was the worst, some of today's big companies were not public or even in existence yet: Amazon.com, Capital One Financial, Cisco Systems, Google, Goldman Sachs, Kraft, MasterCard, Morgan Stanley, Time Warner, and United Parcel Service.

Then & Now – Since the CNBC Launch in 1989
Then Now

2,337.79 Dow Industrials 8,125.43

301.72 S&P 500 865.30

417.76 Nasdaq Composite 1,670.44

33,308.33 Nikkei 225 8,755.26

$0.09 A share of Dell (split-adjusted) $10.88

$0.36 A share of Microsoft (split-adjusted) $19.76

$9.75 A share of Apple (split-adjusted) $121.45

$4.38 A share of Wal-Mart (split-adjusted) $50.78

$21.22 A barrel of crude oil $49.98

$386.20 An ounce of gold $879.80

11.05% 30-year fixed mortgage rate 4.82%

25 cents A first-class stamp 42 cents

$12 Top-priced box seat Yankees ticket $375

Comments? Send them to bythenumbers@cnbc.com

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