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Dow & S&P on Track for Best First Quarter in 10 Years - Update

With just one day away from quarter and month end, the Dow and S&P are on track for their best first quarter since 1999 & 1998, and the best Q1 for the NASDAQ Composite since 2006 based on March 29th closing levels. 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 a preview of how the benchmark indexes stack versus prior quarters, and the Dow’s Winners & Losers for the quarter so far.

Industrials Stocks Lead Gains in 2010's First Quarter

Quarterly/Monthly Stats (As of March 29th-4pm close):
• The Dow is currently up 467.81% or 4.49% for the quarter, and up 5.53% for the month.
• The NASDAQ Composite is currently up 135.21 or 5.96% for the quarter, and up 7.42% for the month.
• The S&P 500 is currently up 58.12% or 5.21% for the quarter, and up 6.22% for the month.

  • The Dow is on track for its Best Month 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 is on track for its Best Month 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 is on track for its Best Month 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 Indexes are currently on track to their best March since 2009 when the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P rose 7.73%, 10.94%, and 8.54% respectively.

First Quarter Stats -
Dow since 1897:

• 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%

S&P since 1928:
• 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%

NASDAQ Composite since 1971:
• 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%

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