This Day In Market History: Dow Completes 25-Year Great Depression Recovery

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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On Nov. 23, 1954, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally made its first new all-time high following the Great Depression.

Where The Market Was: The Dow closed at 382.74, and the S&P 500 index wasn’t around yet.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy was censured, ending his witch hunt for communists. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools is unconstitutional in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. The average cost of a new house was $10,250.

Dow’s New Highs: On Sept. 3, 1929, the Dow closed at 381.17. It would not close above that price for another 25 years.

The crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed ultimately dropped the Dow nearly 90% below its peak level by mid-1932. The index finally troughed at 41.22 on July 8, 1932.

As the Depression wore on, the Dow began its long march from Great Depression lows back to its 1929 peak. The index recovered to around 150 by the end of the 1930s, a total loss of about 40% for the decade.

World War II and post-war reconstruction brought about an end to the Great Depression in the 1940s, and the economy and the stock market continued to recover. The Dow gained about 39% during the 1940s, finishing the decade at around 148.

In the 1950s, the Dow found its stride. It made its first new all-time high since 1929 in November 1954 and continued on to finish the 1950s at around 616, up 200% for the decade.

The 25-year stretch from 1929 to 1954 remains the longest stretch in history for the Dow without making a new all-time high.

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