These stocks powered the Dow to record highs

Well, it happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on March 5 closed at an all-time record high of 14,254, above the previous high set back in October 2007. That milestone marks a symbolic end to one dimension of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The Dow bottomed out at 6547.05 on March 9, 2009 — a day that lives in market infamy — and has been storming back ever since.

The Standard Poor’s 500 Stock Index (SPX) closed today at 1540 and still has some ways before surpassing its pre-crisis high of 1,565.20.

If you could hop into a time machine and return to the fall of 2007, when Britney Spears topped the charts with Gimme More and Michael Clayton led at the box office, what stocks would have delivered the most stunning returns going forward?

Tom Bemis at MarketWatch asked FactSet for the data and came up with the following. Of the 30 Dow component stocks, Home Depot (HD) gained 103%, IBM (IBM) advanced 71% and McDonald’s (MCD) saw a 67% increase. Travelers’ (TRV) shares grew by 51%.

As for the S&P 500 Index, check out this chart from Bespoke Investments. Netflix (NFLX) led the pack.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal noted the five stocks–IBM (IBM), Caterpillar (CAT), 3M (MMM), Chevron (CVX) and United Technologies (UTX)–represented about 30% of the rally in the Dow since the lows of the financial crisis back in early 2009.

Photo: Shardayyy

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