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Dow & S&P Best First Quarter Since the Late 90's

Wednesday, 31 Mar 2010 | 5:11 PM ET

Now that the markets closed 4% or higher for the quarter, a positive first quarter is a good indication for the year where historically the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ Composite have managed to post average gains of more than 12% in the year when Q1 was a positive quarter versus average losses of -0.2% or greater when Q1 was negative. Also, this first quarter has proved better than last year's where the Dow & S&P had posted losses of greater than 11%, and the Nasdaq Composite logged a drop of -3.1% in Q1 09. Furthermore, March in general is a strong month for the U.S. equity markets, as this month on average has yielded positive returns more than 60% of the time amongst the three major U.S. indexes. Here is how this quarter stacks versus prior quarters for the benchmark indexes, and the Dow’s Winners & Losers for Q1.

Quarterly/Monthly Stats (As of March 31st Close):
• The Dow closed up 428.6% or 4.11% for the quarter, and up 5.15% for the month.
• The NASDAQ Composite closed up 128.81 or 5.68% for the quarter, and up 7.14% for the month.
• The S&P 500 closed up 54.33 or up 4.87% for the quarter, and up 5.88% for the month.

  • The Dow posted its Best Monthly % Gain since November 2009 when it rose 6.51%, its Best Quarter since Q4 2009 when it gained 7.4%, and its Biggest Q1 % gain since 1999 when it gained 6.58%
  • The NASDAQ posted its Best Monthly % Gain since best July 2009 when it rose 7.82%, its Best Quarter since Q4 2009 when it gained 6.91%, and its Biggest Q1 % gain since 2006 when it gained 6.1%
  • The S&P posted its Best Monthly % Gain since July 2009 when it rose 7.41%, its Best Quarter since Q4 2009 when it gained 5.49%, and its Biggest Q1 %gain since 1998 when it gained 13.53%
  • All three major indexes closed up for the 4th consecutive quarter

Dow since 1897:

First Quarter Stats:
• On average the Dow has gained 1.42% in Q1
• Up 56% of the time with an average gain of 6.85% when up
• The biggest Q1 gain was in 1975 when it rose 24.65%
• The biggest Q1 loss was in 1938 when it declined -18.12%
• Overall, the best quarter for the Dow is Q4, when on average it has gained 2.63%

Yearly Performance when Q1 is (+):
• An avg. gain of 13.3% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a positive quarter
• Up 81% of the time for the year when Q1 was a positive quarter with an gain of 20.9% when up, and Down 19% of the time with an average loss of -19% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 1915 , when it rose 82.7% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 1931, when it fell -52.7% for the year
Yearly Performance when Q1 is (-):
• An avg. loss of -0.17% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a negative quarter
• Up 43% of the time for the year when Q1 was a negative quarter with an gain of 17.8% when up, and Down 57% of the time with an average loss of -13.6% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 1933, when it rose 63.7% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 1907, when it fell -37.7% for the year

S&P since 1928:

First Quarter Stats:
• On average the S&P has gained 1.33% in Q1
• Up 57% of the time with an average gain of 7.1% when up
• The biggest Q1 gain was in 1975 when it rose 21.59%
• The biggest Q1 loss was in 1938 when it declined -19.43%
• Overall, the best quarter for the S&P is Q2, when on average it has gained 2.38%

Yearly Performance when Q1 is (+):
• An avg. gain of 12.3% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a positive quarter
• Up 83% of the time for the year when Q1 was a positive quarter with an gain of 19.13% when up, and Down 17% of the time with an average loss of -20.28% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 1954, when it rose 45.02% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 1931, when it fell -47.07% for the year
Yearly Performance when Q1 is (-):
• An avg. loss of -0.4% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a negative quarter
• Up 43% of the time for the year when Q1 was a negative quarter with an gain of 17.23% when up, and Down 57% of the time with an average loss of -12.8% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 1933, when it rose 44.07% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 2008, when it fell -38.48% for the year

NASDAQ Composite since 1971:

First Quarter Stats:
• On average the Nasdaq has gained 3.57% in Q1
• Up 63% of the time with an average gain of 10.66% when up
• The biggest Q1 gain was in 1991 when it rose 29.01%
• The biggest Q1 loss was in 2001 when it declined -25.51%
• Overall, the best quarter for the NASDAQ is Q4, when on average it has gained 4.17%

Yearly Performance when Q1 is (+):
• An avg. gain of 19.5% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a positive quarter
• Up 83% of the time for the year when Q1 was a positive quarter with an gain of 27.6% when up, and Down 17% of the time with an average loss of -20.7% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 1999, when it rose 85.6% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 2000, when it fell -39.29% for the year
Yearly Performance when Q1 is (-):
• An avg. loss of -1.5% Yearly Performance when Q1 was a negative quarter
• Up 50% of the time for the year when Q1 was a negative quarter with an gain of 19.3% when up, and Down 50% of the time with an average loss of -22.3% when down
• The Biggest % Gain was in 2009, when it rose 43.9% for the year
• The Worst % Drop was in 2008, when it fell -40.54% for the year

Dow's Winners : Top 5 Stocks of Q1

COMPANY TICKER CLOSE 12/31/09 CLOSE 3/31/10 % CHG QTD SECTOR
The Boeing Co BA 54.13 72.61 34.1% Industrials
General Electric GE 15.13 18.2 20.3% Industrials
Bank of America BAC 15.06 17.85 18.5% Financials
Home Depot HD 28.93 32.35 11.8% Consumer Discretionary
Kraft Foods Inc KFT 27.18 30.24 11.3% Consumer Staples
Bankrate
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