November 2016, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gain more than 1,000 point, will be a month to remember when the stock market looks back. You would have to go back fifteen years to find the last time the blue-chip index accomplished this feat. But how impressive are the gains?
Fueled by confidence that economic growth will return under a Donald Trump presidency, investors are willing to speculate on the direction of equities. This is even though the President-elect's economic policies have yet to be fully revealed. On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 19,123.58, rising 1.98 or 0.01%. It was the only one of the three major indices to close in positive territory. (See also, The Downside to Dow 20,000)
The 1,000 point one-month gain in November was only the fifth time this has happened, according to data from FactSet. But CNBC noted that on a percentage gain basis, the 6% rise is the smallest percent increase the Dow has posted for a jump of more than 1,000 points. The last time the Dow gained 1,000 points in one month was in April 1999. During which the percentage rise was 10.3%, according to CNBC.
However, not everyone is downplaying the implication of 1,000-point gain or the 6% rise. It's a "big deal," according to Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. Bittles pointed to the fact that the Dow is much larger than it was fifteen years ago. More importantly, Bittles, who sees Dow 20,000 as the next psychologically benchmark, focuses on the reason for the 1,000-point rise. "We're going from an anti-business environment to a pro-business one," he says.
In terms of what's more significant, whether it's the 1,000-point rise or the 6% gain, it's a matter of perspective, said Bob Pavlik, Boston Private Wealth's chief market strategist, according to CNBC.
"In a way, it's notable [the 1,000-point gain], because I think that Main Street pays attention to that kind of gain, although I think the professional investor pays attention to the percentage gain," Pavlik said.
It remains to be seen if November's bull run extends in December. But regardless of the level of significance applied to a 1,000-point one-month gain, long investors are on the winning side.