What Monday's Big Dow Surge Could Mean for Stocks

A 250-plus point gain was relatively common for the Dow in 2016

Sep 12, 2017 at 1:12 PM
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It's been a monster two days for the U.S. stock market, after the uncertainty surrounding Hurricane Irma and North Korea that kept Wall Street in check last week subsided over the weekend. While the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is fresh off a new record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is extending its lead north of the 22,000 mark, after notching its biggest one-day gain since March on Monday. Against this backdrop, Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White ran the numbers to see what has historically happened to the Dow after such big days.

For starters, a rally of 250 points or more has been a relatively rare occurrence for the Dow in 2017, happening just one other time on March 1 -- when the index took its inaugural trek above the 21,000 level. In 2016, by comparison, big up days for the Dow were pretty run of the mill, with surges of 250-plus points happening 11 times. The biggest point gain since 2016 was on Jan. 29, 2016, when the Dow gained 397 points in a single session.

dow after 250 point gains

Since 2010 -- the first year of the current bull market -- there have been 52 times the DJIA has added 250 points or more in a single session. And although the Dow turned in a negative short-term performance following the March rally, history suggests big-cap stocks could be headed for even bigger gains in the near term, with the Dow tending to outperform post-signal over the next four weeks.

The most significant gains come at the one-month mark, with the Dow averaging a post-signal return of 1.7%, compared to an anytime return of 0.8% since 2010. Plus, the win rate after a gain of 250-plus points is higher, while standard deviation is lower.

dow returns since 2010

As Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone noted in a recent Monday Morning Outlook,"with multiple benchmarks trading at or near all-time highs ... it's difficult to sit it out and miss out on the underlying trend." And with volatility low, it's an ideal time to bet on bigger stock gains with options, which "can limit your dollars at risk relative to pure equity plays, while benefiting from leverage that allows you to pocket big profits when you are correct." 

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