Dow Record Book Adds Another First

Posted: February 24, 1995

The Dow Jones industrial average, the world's most widely watched stock market gauge, is made up of shares in 30 major American corporations traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Following are key events in the history of the Dow:

* 1884 - Dow Jones' "Customers Afternoon Letter" publishes closing prices of 11 stocks: nine railroads, Western Union and Pacific Mail.

* Feb. 16, 1885 - The index, for the first time, is published on a regular basis and it closes at 62.76. Included are 14 stocks: 12 railroads and two industrials.

* 1896 - The first index composed entirely of industrial shares is introduced.

* 1928 - Index adopts its current form with 30 blue-chip stocks. Stocks making up the index have changed as the fortunes of companies have waxed and waned.

* Oct. 28, 1929 - The index fell 38.33 points, or 12.8 percent, to end at 260.64. The next day, which became known as Black Tuesday, it dropped 30.57 points, or 11.7 percent, to end at 230.07. The bear market continued for 34 more months.

* March 12, 1956 - First close over 500 at 500.24.

* Nov. 14, 1972 - Topped 1,000 to end at 1,003.16. But the index then fell back, struggling for another 16 years before it moved decisively above 1,000 in early 1983.

* Aug. 17, 1982 - Rose 38.81points to 831.24, then-largest one-day gain, beginning a long rally.

* Jan. 8, 1987 - First close above 2,000 at 2,002.25.

* Oct. 19, 1987 - The index falls 508.0 points to 1,738.74, the biggest one-day drop in its history, wiping 22.6 percent off its value.

* April 17, 1991 - Ends above 3,000 for the first time at 3,004.46.

* Feb. 23, 1995 - Dow finishes at 4,003.33, closing above 4,000 for the first time.

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