The Dow Jones industrial average has been hovering at all-time highs and just crossed 20,000 for the first time. If history is any guide, that psychological multizero barrier suggests more gains are to come.
CNBC looked at market data from the past 30 years and zeroed in on the times when the Dow has crossed levels like 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 ... all the way up to the 19,000 level it hit in November. At those times, investors can typically expect traders to push it up even higher, according to data from Kensho. Not only does the Dow go up, but it outperforms the S&P 500 index along the way.
The trend is true not just for quick one-week returns, but also for one-month and one-quarter. Here's a summary of the data, going back to January 1987, when the Dow closed above 2,000 for the first time. Averages over the 18 instances show how performance increased.
In fact, it was just two months ago when the Dow was at 19,000 that we used a similar analysis and predicted it would likely go higher.