On this day in economic and financial history...
The first days of October have been eventful for many members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Holding 100 Wal-Mart shares bought at the IPO through 11 stock splits would have earned you total gains of 919,000%, not including any reinvested dividends. The company's earned those gains. Its present-day revenue is nearly 6,000 times larger than it was in 1972.
At the beginning of October 1928, Standard Oil's New Jersey-based antitrust spinoff company joined the Dow. You know it today as ExxonMobil
Dow component American Express moved forward to its modern business model when it launched its first credit card this week in 1958. Today, American Express has nearly 100 million cardmembers around the world generating over $800 billion in spending each year. The company's bottom line is nearly 600 times fatter today than it was in the year following the first Amex.
October's been doubly valuable to Dow component Procter & Gamble
These five companies collectively make up 19% of the Dow's present value, with a total net worth of more than a trillion dollars. That's a lot of value to create in a few short days in history, even though they were spread across many years.
JPMorgan has one of the longest unbroken chains of corporate ancestry in the world. Is it the big bank that's built to last? Or was it lucky to narrowly avoid disaster on more than one occasion? There may be one bank left standing that's earned the right to be called "the best big bank," but the Fool's analysts don't think it's JPMorgan. Find out why we think this conservative competitor will thrive for the long term in our latest free report -- just click here for the information you need, at no cost.