The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) recently reached an all-time high value. This article will detail if the individual issues reached new high levels, or if not what gain would be required to set a new high.
Issues at an All-Time High March 22, 2013
Issue within 1% of New All-Time High
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) at $40.04 with a $40.07 high, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) at $99.27 with a $99.67 high, Proctor and Gamble (NYSE:PG) at $77.28 with a $77.58 high, and Travelers (NYSE:TRV) at $83.69 with a $83.84 high.
Issues Requiring Gains of 100+% to Reach an All-Time High
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) at $8.45 requires a 406% gain to reach its high of $42.77 set on July 13, 2007. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) at $12.56 needs a 276% increase to match its all-time high of $34.61 set on October 5, 2007. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) at $20.75 requires a 272% surge to top its all-time high of $77.09 reached on March 27, 2000. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) at $23.04 would need a 147% gain to match its high of $56.86 reached on July 13, 2000. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) at $21.33 would need to see a 176% increase to hit the $58.89 high established August 31, 2000.
Issues Within 10% of All-Time High
Boeing (NYSE:BA) at $84.82 needs to increase 9% to reach its all-time high of $92.53 touched on July 25, 2007. DuPont (NYSE:DD) at $49.27 requires a gain of 8% to top its $53.00 high set on April 4, 2011. Disney (NYSE:DIS) at $56.78 is within 2% of the March 14, 2013 high of $57.75. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) at $69.56 is 2% sky of the $70.98 high established March 8, 2013. IBM (NYSE:IBM) at $212.08 is 2% short of the March 14, 2013 new high of $215.80. JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) at $48.78 is within 5% of the $51.00 high set on March 14, 2013. AT&T (NYSE:T) at $36.43 is 3% shy of the $37.42 high touched on October 4, 2012. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) at $74.28 is 3% away from its October 15, 2012 high of $76.23. Exxon Mobile (NYSE:XOM) at $89.29 is 3% short of its October 18, 2012 high of $92.31.
Issues 11% to 99% from High
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) at $54.46 is 12% from its December 21, 2005 high of $60.86. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) at $28.38 is 14% short of it April 12, 1999 high of $32.31. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) at $28.25 is 59% away from its December 27, 1999 high of $44.81. Merck (NYSE:MRK) at $4.90 is 28% from reaching the $56.13 high set on December 28, 2000. General Electric (NYSE:GE) at $23.37 needs to gain 74% to reach the $40.62 level seen on August 28, 2000. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) at $87.48 needs a 30% gain to match its $113.63 level of February 23, 2013.
It should be noted that just because a firm is trading at an all-time price does not mean its market capitalization is at an all-time high. Firms may enjoy a record high price but not a record high market capitalization because of share repurchases.
Investors may want to focus upon the return of the portfolio rather than focus on individual issue performance. As can be seen from the performance above, an index or portfolio can scale to new highs without all issues reaching or nearing new highs.
Investors need to decide if they prefer the momentum trade and buy issues near or setting new highs or if they prefer the neglected issues that have fallen out of favor. A selection of issues from each style might provide a more balance approach. Each investor must decide what risk-reward trade-off is acceptable.
The cost to purchase of one share of each DJI issue (excluding transaction costs) at the March 22, 2013 price would total $1,889.70. The value would increase 16% to $2,195.49 if all issues were at the highs.
Source data from Yahoo Finance with adjusted prices used.
Disclosure: I am long CSCO, OTCPK:MFST, HD, CAT, T, DD. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.