The 7 Days that Changed Everything for Stocks in 2013

What a difference one week can make in the stock market.

Jan 17, 2014 at 7:05PM

Last year was an unusually good one for stocks. Not only did markets leap higher, but the gains were evenly felt across every sector. Almost all of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 30 components improved in 2013, and the top five contributors kicked in just 16% of the Dow's total gains, as compared to 59% in 2012.

The market's mostly steady march led to 23% overall gains, helping leaders like Boeing (NYSE:BA) and 3M (NYSE:MMM) rise by 80% and 50%, respectively.

Yet even through that broad-based, year-long rally, most of the market's gains actually occurred over just a handful of trading days:


Point Gain

Percentage Gain

 Oct. 10 319.7 2.16%
 Jan. 2  308.3 2.35% 
 Dec. 18  291.4 1.84% 
 June 7 203.6 1.35% 
 Oct. 16 203.1 1.34% 
 Dec. 6  194.65  1.23% 
 June 13 183.6 1.22% 

BA Chart

BA data by YCharts.

In the video below, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos discusses the seven trading days that can explain much of the Dow's rise last year. He notes that they represented just 2.7% of all trading days and yet accounted for a massive 50% of the market's annual rise. The takeaway, he argues, is that jumping in and out of stocks is an extremely risky strategy, as missing just one of these days would have been a recipe for underperformance.

Start 2014 off right
Just as a small percentage of trading days can make all the difference in a year, there's a huge contrast between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

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