The stock market just wrapped up a solid fourth quarter.  We have now had three consecutive quarters of nice gains in the stock market.

2009 also turned out to be a stellar year for the stock market.  In fact, by percentage gains, it was the best year for stocks since 2003.  The Nasdaq led the major indexes with a 44% gain.

Here are the details:

Dow Industrials

  • Up 716 points this quarter, or 7%, to close at 10428.
  • Up 1652 points, or 19%, for the year 2009.
  • Up 37% over the last three quarters.
  • On March 9th the Dow was down 54% from its all-time high in October 2007.
  • Through the end of 2009, the Dow has gained 59% from the March 9th low.  This is the fastest climb of this magnitude since 1933.

Nasdaq Composite

  • Up 147 points this quarter, or 7% to close at 2269.
  • Up 692 points, or 44%, for the year 2009.
  • Best yearly percentage gain since 2003 when it was up 50%.
  • Up 48% over the last three quarters.
  • Ended 2009 79% above its March low.

S&P 500

  • Up 58 points this quarter, or 5% to close at 1115.
  • Up 212 points, or 17%, for the year 2009.
  • Best annual point and percentage gain since 2003.

The performance for the year 2009 is even more impressive when you consider that we started the year with the Dow dropping 25% to a 12-year low on March 9th.  2009 was a wild year that I will never forget.  Just to remind you how volatile the market was this year take a look at the top five stock sessions of 2009 as well as the five worst stock sessions of 2009.  I don’t mind this kind of volatility as long as we have these types of annual gains 🙂


Photo by David Prior