This article is a summary of the closing milestones of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
, a United States stock market index
. Since opening at 40.94 on May 26, 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has increased steadily, despite several periods of decline.
Milestone highs and lows
Like most other stock market indices, the Dow undergoes periods of general increase and general declines or stagnation. A bull market
is a term denoting a period of price increases, while a bear market
denotes a period of declines. Wall Street
generally considers a bear market in session when the main stock market index is more than 20 percent below its all-time high.
There are two types of bull markets. A secular bull market
is a period in which the stock market index is continually reaching all-time highs with only brief periods of correction
, as during the 1990s, and can last upwards of 15 years. A cyclical bull market
is a period in which the stock market index is reaching 52-week or multi-year highs and may briefly peak at all-time highs before a rapid decline, as in the early
1970s. It usually occurs within relatively longer bear markets and lasts about three years.
The following are the secular bull and bear markets experienced by the Dow since its inception:
- 1896–1929: Bull market. In the summer of 1896 the Dow sheds 30% to set an all-time low of 28.48, but quickly erases its losses, and eventually grows to a closing high of 381.17 ( intra-day high of 386.1) on September 3, 1929.