Dow Hits All-Time High, Gaining 61% from the Lows of October 2002
Taking inflation into account, the Dow still is 20% from its old record. After surging 25% in 2003, the Dow was up 3% in 2004, and fell 0.6% last year.
The biggest Dow gainers are Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes and Kraft cheese, up 214%; equipment-maker Caterpillar, 151% higher; industrial conglomerate United Technologies, with a 103% gain; and Boeing, up 86%. Microsoft, for all its gains this past summer, remains down 46% since Jan. 14, 2000. Intel is off 60%. General Motors -- not one of the '90s big winners -- has fallen 59%. In January 2000, the world's biggest stock as measured by stock-market value was Microsoft. Today, it is Exxon Mobil, whose stock is up 56% since then.
Back then, the S&P 500 traded at more than 30 times its member companies' earnings for the previous 12 months -- more than double the historic price-earnings ratio of about 15. Since then, stocks haven't risen as fast as corporate profits. So today, the S&P 500 trades at a less expensive 17 times earnings.
From its 2000 high to its 2002 low, the Dow fell 37.85%. The Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 77.93% during the period. (Dow Industrials Close at a Record)