How the Major Indexes Performed in February

Heading into February, the major indexes were down for 2014, investor sentiment was low, and the pundits warned of a further pullback. After a remarkable 2013, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) had already lost more than 5% for the year, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was off by 3.55% and the Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC  ) was down 1.74%.

But when everyone is saying one thing and expects it to happen, we usually end up with the exact opposite. We've all seen it happen, and February was just the latest example. The major indexes were expected to continue falling for the month, but instead they rose. Let's look at what happened in February, week by week.


February Week 1

February Week 2

February Week 3

February Week 4

February Total Change

Dow Jones

95 points, 0.6%

360 points, 2.28%

(51 points), (0.31%)

218 points, 1.35%

622.86 points, 3.96%

S&P 500

14 points, 0.8%

41 points, 2.31%

(2 points), (0.12%)

23 points, 1.26%

76.86 points, 4.31%


21 points, 0.53%

118 points, 2.86%

19 points, 0.45%

44 points, 1.04%

204.24, 4.97%

Data based on author's calculations.

The Nasdaq didn't have a single losing week. The Dow and S&P 500 each had just one week of small losses.

After a forgettable January, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are back in the black for 2014. The Nasdaq is the big winner so far in 2014, up more than 131 points, or 3.14%. The S&P, meanwhile, just hit a record high of 1,859, up 11 points, or 0.6% on the year. The Dow, however, is still climbing the hill. At 16,321, it's off 254 points, or 1.5%, from the start of 2014.

What can we take away from this? Well, with January down and February up, the latter in spite of the pundits' expectations, investors should brace for the possibility of high volatility this year. We're coming off a few good years for the market, and stocks appear to be fairly valued, if not sometimes overvalued. But it can also be a reminder that while the markets do fall, they always come back -- and given enough time, they move higher than they were before the downturn.

In other words, investors with a long-term outlook should be able to sleep soundly at night and calmly ride out the next pullback, correction, or crash.

Don't gamble with your money and retirement
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend-paying brethren. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2860907, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/29/2015 2:31:06 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Matt Thalman

Matt primarily covers the Dow Components, the Major Indexes daily moves, Consumer Goods stocks, and General Investing Topics.

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:55 PM
^DJI $16643.01 Down -11.76 -0.07%
^GSPC $1988.87 Up +1.21 +0.06%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
^IXIC $4828.33 Up +15.62 +0.32%
NASDAQ Composite… CAPS Rating: No stars