By the Numbers

Dow's Best First Quarter Since 1998? Here's What Could Happen Next

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The Dow is up 10 percent so far this quarter, on track for its best Q1 since 1998. What's previously happened after a strong first quarter?

Since 1950, there have been only twelve other instances when the DJIA was up more than 8 percent in the first quarter (11 of the last 12 times took place prior to the year 2000).

Historically, a strong first quarter correlates with strong gains for the year. There are bumps along the way, but most of the time, the Dow manages to post double-digit gains for the full year.

In ten of the last twelve times it occurred, for example, the Dow finished the year with a gain of more than 15 percent when the first quarter was up more than 8 percent.

DJIA Returns When Q1 > 8%
Q1Q2Q3Q4Full Year
20128.14%-2.51%4.32%-2.48%7.26%
199811.27%1.73%-12.39%17.07%16.10%
19969.19%1.21%4.02%9.62%26.01%
19958.43%9.58%5.11%6.85%33.45%
199110.64%-0.24%3.78%5.00%20.28%
198721.61%4.94%7.35%-25.32%2.31%
198617.58%4.07%-6.61%7.22%22.53%
197617.25%0.33%-1.26%1.46%17.86%
197524.65%14.43%-9.68%7.37%38.32%
196710.22%-0.66%7.72%-2.33%15.20%
19619.86%1.08%2.52%4.27%18.71%
19548.05%9.89%8.07%12.19%43.96%