By the Numbers

Dow: Decade by Decade

Best & Worst of the Decade

Dow Trivia Question:

Which is the only stock that was added to the Dow Industrials earlier this decade – only to find itself back off the index by the end of the decade?

(Answer is at the end of the post.)

A Poor Decade

Following the sizzling 1990s (the markets’ best decade ever), stocks have had a disappointing decade overall, fizzling in the 2000s. The markets were flying sky-high at the start of the current decade, as the dot com boom peaked. But despite the early optimism, investors instead saw the markets sink twice – first as the tech bubble burst in the early part of the decade, and then as the global financial crisis struck towards the end of decade.

As a result, the Dow has had its second worst decade ever, falling over 8% in the first 10 years of the new millennium. In fact, this decade’s performance is only the second time in history that the Dow has fallen over the course of an entire decade, exceeded only by the nearly 40% plunge stocks took back in the 1930s.

Dow’s Change - Decade by Decade:

  • 1900s +50.69%
  • 1910s +8.26%
  • 1920s +131.73%
  • 1930s -39.64%
  • 1940s +33.69%
  • 1950s +238.80%
  • 1960s +17.81%
  • 1970s +4.80%
  • 1980s +228.25%
  • 1990s +317.59%
  • 2000s -8.34%

As for the current 30 Dow components, investors have seen mixed results. 16 are down this decade while the other 13 are up over the past 10 years. Note that one Dow stock, Kraft Foods, is absent from the list below since it only went public in 2001.

Current Dow Components This Decade:

  • CAT +148%
  • UTX +116%
  • CVX +79%
  • XOM +71%
  • MMM +70%
  • MCD +57%
  • TRV +48%
  • JNJ +39%
  • BA +33%
  • IBM +22%
  • HPQ +19%
  • PG +12%
  • DIS +11%
  • KO -2%
  • AXP -15%
  • JPM -19%
  • WMT -22%
  • BAC -39%
  • MRK -42%
  • T -42%
  • PFE -43%
  • VZ -43%
  • MSFT -47%
  • DD -49%
  • INTC -51%
  • CSCO -55%
  • HD -58%
  • AA -61%
  • GE -70%

Out with the Old, In with the New

As for the current Dow, 23 companies have remained part of the Dow throughout the entire decade.

Meanwhile, the Dow Industrials welcomed 8 companies to the index in the 2000s, with AIG, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Chevron, Kraft Foods, Travelers, and Cisco Systems all entering the Dow at various times over the past 10 years.

Saying so long to the Dow this decade were the old AT&T (not to be confused with the old SBC Communications/current AT&T), Eastman Kodak, International Paper, Altria, Honeywell, Citigroup, and General Motors.

Dow Trivia Answer - AIG.

One other stock that was also removed from the Dow late in decade was AIG. Added to the Dow in April 2004, AIG was removed from the index just 4.5 years later in September 2008 after the federal government took control of the beleaguered financial services giant in the midst of the financial crisis.

As a result, it was the only Dow component to have been both added and removed to the Dow during this decade.

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