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This Day In Market History: The End Of The World War II Rally

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This Day In Market History: The End Of The World War II Rally
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 72 years ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its high point of the 1940s.

Where The Market Was

The Dow peaked at 212.50. The S&P 500 traded at around 18.50. Today, the Dow is trading at 24,590.13 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,708.35.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1946, the United Nations held its first meeting in London. The bikini, created by French designer Louis Reard, made its market debit in Paris. The average cost of a new house was $5,600.

The Post-War Rally Runs Out Of Steam

After a decade lost to the depression in the 1930s, the U.S. stock market got back on track in the 1940s thanks in part to the U.S. entering and winning World War II. Japan officially surrendered in September of 1945, but the Dow kept right on rising until finally hitting a wall at around 212. At that point, the Dow was up a little more than 40 percent since 1940.

Over the next year, however, the Dow tumbled 20.4 percent as the economy hit a rut. When the decade came to a close, the Dow finished the 1940s up 32.4 percent. Despite a lackluster finish to the decade, the gains of the 1940s were a dramatic improvement over the 38.6 percent decline the Dow registered during the 1930s.

The Dow wouldn’t eclipse its post-war high watermark until April 12, 1950.

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