These 10 Facts About the Dow In 2013 Will Blow Your Mind

2013 is over, so it's time to look back at what made the Dow Jones Industrial Average tick last year. These 10 facts just might blow your mind.

Jan 3, 2014 at 2:00PM

With 2013 firmly in the rearview mirror, the S&P Dow Jones Indices published the highlights of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) from last year. Here's a selection of the 10 juiciest details, curated by yours truly:

Dow Points

Chart by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

  • The top 5 point gainers accounted for 16% of the Dow's total gains in 2013, compared to 60% from the top 5 gainers in 2012. The report marks this as "an indicator of a broader market/economic recovery," as nearly every Dow stock added significantly to the points tally.

  • Boeing (NYSE:BA) alone added 444 points to the Dow in 2013. The 787 Dreamliner overcame its launch problems to become a serious growth driver last year.

  • The biggest loser of Dow points was IBM (NYSE:IBM), subtracting just 27 points. Big Blue is implementing a software-and-services strategy under new leadership, and these changes hurt in the short term.

  • Compare and contrast to get the full effect of Dow trends: The biggest gain added 444 points while the worst drop removed only 27.

  • The Dow's 26.5% return in 2013 was the strongest full-year leap since 1995, when the blue-chip index gained 33.5%. It was also the first time the Dow gained more than 25% since 2003 -- a 10-year span.

  • IBM was actually the strongest performer on the Dow in two of the first three months -- and Boeing was the worst Dow stock to own in January. But Boeing then spent five months on top of the heap and IBM five months at the bottom of the barrel, while no other Dow component spent more than two months on either of these lists. IBM and Boeing really wrote the Dow's history in 2013.

  • The Dow passed two 1,000-point milestones in 2013: 15,000 and 16,000. This has happened four other times in the last 20 years, going back to the Dow passing 4,000 and 5,000 in 1995.

  • The Dow traded up in 146 of the 252 trading days last year, yielding 52 record-level closing prices along the way.

  • The big gains in 2013 were built on dozens of small moves, not a few big jumps. The index gained at least 200 points on seven days last year but lost 200 points or more on eight days, leaving most of the heavy lifting to scores of less volatile days.

  • ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) paid out $11 billion in dividends last year, accounting for nearly 9% of the Dow's total payouts. But Exxon investors still have to settle for a middling 2.5% dividend yield, because the $11 billion has to be spread out across the Dow's largest market cap.

The Dow wasn't built in a day
What's a year in the grand scheme of things? Truly great portfolios must be built to endure for decades. If you're looking for some long-term investing ideas, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand-new special report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." It's absolutely free, so simply click here now and get your copy today.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers