It's true: The rally from March to August was one of the largest in history.
Going back to 1929, I broke up the Dow Jones Industrial Average into rolling 24-week periods. This might not surprise many, but the rally starting in March was the fourth-largest since the Great Depression, outdone only by gains in 1933, 1938, and 1975.
In the summer of 1933, the Dow Jones had returned as much as 95% over a six-month period. In November 1938, the trailing six-month return hit 46%. A rally in the spring of 1975 brought a 44% gain. From early March to mid-August of this year, the Dow surged about 43%.
What's it all mean? Not much, really. Cherry-picked data mining isn't very flattering, and market timing isn't very intelligent. Do us all a favor, and don't use this data to make any investing plans. As Warren Buffett once said, "If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians."
Even so, your attention should be piqued when we start making history. This isn't just a powerful rally, but a historic rally. Stocks like Ford
Back in February, I wrote, "The only certainty is that we're 7,000 points closer to the bottom today than we were when stocks peaked in October 2007." Today, you can flip that around: The only certainty is that we're 3,000 Dow points higher than we were in March. Neither means much, but both tell an interesting story from a contrarian point of view.
Rather than making predictions, I'll hand this over to you. What do you think? Does the recent rally have any more fuel? Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Take a moment to weigh in in the Fool poll below, and drop a thought or two in the comment section, if you feel so inclined.