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The Federal Open Market Committee will choose one fateful path or another for the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive quantitative-easing program at a meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of the worst week for the U.S. equity market since May 2012. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA) share price dipping to $158.48 on Friday from $164.08 on Jan. 17, a drop of $5.60, or 3.41 percent, exemplified the recent stock-market mayhem.

The QE program has been a key driver in the inflation of the current market bubble, as noted in "NYSE Margin Debt As An Indicator Of Long-Term Movements In S&P 500." The FOMC voted last month to begin tapering the QE program by cutting its aggregated monthly asset purchases to $75 billion in January from $85 billion in December.

The FOMC meeting this week will also be a milestone in the Federal Reserve leadership transition from the outgoing Ben S. Bernanke to the incoming Janet L. Yellen. In anticipation of this event, I recently studied the associations between all the changes in the Fed's leadership and the movements of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA, during the subsequent trading year in each case. Graphic results of this study include a chart of the Dow in every one of these cases: Some are more eye-popping than others.

In my study, I aimed to determine whether there is any evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between the two variables that would be helpful to me as a financial-market participant. As reported on Seeking Alpha last month, the study led to the conclusions I should be prepared for the possibilities of a below-average advance in the DJIA and above-average volatility in the mega-capitalization index during the trading year subsequent to the current leadership transition.

Since the Federal Reserve was founded a century ago, it has had 14 leaders, known as the chairman at present and as the governor in the past, according to the central bank's online site. These Fed heads and their first days in office are as follow:

• Charles S. Hamlin, Aug. 10, 1914.

• William P.G. Harding, Aug. 10, 1916.

• Daniel R. Crissinger, May 1, 1923.

• Roy A. Young, Oct. 4, 1927.

• Eugene Meyer, Sept. 16, 1930.

• Eugene R. Black, May 19, 1933.

• Marriner S. Eccles, Nov. 15, 1934.

• Thomas B. McCabe, April 15, 1948.

• William M. Martin Jr., April 2, 1951.

• Arthur F. Burns, Feb. 1, 1970.

• G. William Miller, March 8, 1978.

• Paul A. Volcker, Aug. 6, 1979.

• Alan Greenspan, Aug. 11, 1987.

• Ben S. Bernanke, Feb. 1, 2006.

In carrying out the study of the 13 Federal Reserve changes in leadership and their associations with the movements of the DJIA over the subsequent trading year in each case, I employed the Dow's daily figures at the Federal Reserve Economic Data, or FRED, site hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In each case, I used the last trading day before the first day in office of the new Fed head as my baseline. In the definitions of the study, I characterized a trading year as consisting of 252 trading days.

Below are the 13 charts focusing on the one-trading-year or 252-trading-day period following each leadership transition, arranged in chronological order. Every chart displays the DJIA's advances or declines compared with the baseline, with a number of these gains or losses epic not only in their magnitude but also in their suddenness. Because of seasonality, I find especially interesting the charts related to Transition Nos. 9 and 13.

Transition No. 1: W.P.G. Harding Succeeds Charles S. Hamlin

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 2: Daniel R. Crissinger Succeeds W.P.G. Harding

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 3: Roy A. Young Succeeds Daniel R. Crissinger

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 4: Eugene Meyer Succeeds Roy A. Young

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 5: Eugene R. Black Succeeds Eugene Meyer

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 6: Marriner S. Eccles Succeeds Eugene R. Black

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 7: Thomas B. McCabe Succeeds Marriner S. Eccles

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 8: W.M. Martin Jr. Succeeds Thomas B. McCabe

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 9: Arthur F. Burns Succeeds W.M. Martin Jr.

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 10: G. William Miller Succeeds Arthur F. Burns

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 11: Paul A. Volcker Succeeds G. William Miller

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 12: Alan Greenspan Succeeds Paul A. Volcker

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Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Transition No. 13: Ben S. Bernanke Succeeds Alan Greenspan

(click to enlarge)

Source: This chart is based on DJIA daily figures at the FRED site.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein by the author do not constitute an investment recommendation, and they are unsuitable for employment in the making of investment decisions. The opinions expressed herein address only certain aspects of potential investment in any securities and cannot substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. The opinions expressed herein are based on an incomplete set of information, illustrative in nature, and limited in scope. In addition, the opinions expressed herein reflect the author's best judgment as of the date of publication, and they are subject to change without notice.

Source: Federal Reserve Changes In Leadership: Eye-Popping Look At All 13 Of Them