A lot has changed since the Dow Jones industrial average last closed above the 18,000 mark. The last time it happened was on July 20, 2015. Between then and now, the stock market has seen the biggest pullback since 2011, extreme concerns over the bigger picture global economy and the first interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in close to a decade.
Amid that backdrop, the Dow has managed to rally more than 2,600 points from the lows in August through the close on Monday, April 18. A number of stocks have helped the Dow make its push back toward record high levels. Among them, shares of fast food giant McDonald's, which have rallied by 32 percent between the close of trading on July 20 of last year and Monday's close. Home improvement retailer Home Depot and computer software maker Microsoft have also rallied by 20 percent during that span.