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This Day In Market History: Dow 400

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This Day In Market History: Dow 400
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 63 years ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the 400 mark for the first time.

Where Was The Market?

The S&P 500 was trading at 35.74.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1954, Elvis Presley began his career as a musician and the landmark civil rights ruling Brown v. Board of Education outlawed segregation in public schools. The popular Life Magazine cost 20 cents.

Breaking 400

It took the Dow 21 years to get from 100 in 1906 to 200 in 1927. It took the index another 27 years to double once again to 400. During that stretch, the U.S. economy endured the Great Depression and World War II, and the path from 200 to 400 was long and winding.

Just prior to the great stock market crash of 1929, the Dow made it nearly to 250. However, the Depression sent it tumbling back down to the single digits. A decade after it flirted with 250 in 1929, the Dow finished the 1930s at around 150, a roughly 40 percent decline over a 10-year period.

Post-war reconstruction and a new sense of economic optimism got the Dow back on track in the 1940s, although the index only made it back to around 206 by the end of the decade. After a brief recession in 1953, the Dow finally pushed above 400 for the first time just prior to the end of 1954.

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