Between the November election and the end of 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index gained 7.8%. Since the beginning of 2017, the index has added another 4.5%. The so-called Trump bump peaked at the beginning of March with both the S&P and the Dow up around 7% for the year.
Any way you look at it, that's a good start for the year and miles better than the dismal start to 2016.
Whether stocks will continue their upward trend remains to be seen. Much depends on the ability of the Trump administration to deliver on promised tax cuts and regulatory changes, and we may not have anything but rumors to go on until the second quarter is in the books given comments that the target date for the plan is August.
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Here are the top five DJIA index performers for the first quarter.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) is up 24.6% year to date. The iPhone maker reported a solid first fiscal quarter, while speculation about the next iPhone (called, variously, the iPhone 8i or the iPhone X by everyone but Apple) drove the stock even higher. Shares closed down about 0.2% on Friday, at $143.66 in a 52-week range of $89.47 to $144.50, a high set earlier in the week.
Boeing Co. (BA) is up 14.6%. Boeing's stock has risen less on corporate performance than on potential gains from tax law changes. A border adjustment tax would be an absolute godsend for Boeing and, so far at least, that is not off the tax reform table. Shares closed down about 0.6% on Friday at $176.86 in a 52-week range of $122.35 to $185.71.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is up 14.1%. The financial stocks have been on a tear since January, primarily due to expected regulatory relief from some of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Shares of Visa closed down about 0.2% on Friday, at $88.87 in a 52-week range of $73.25 to $92.05.
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) is up 12.8%. The tech sector has been a good performer among all 30 Dow stocks. Apple was the top performer in the sector, but IBM, with a gain of nearly 6%, was the worst. Not bad, as a group. Cisco stock closed up about 0.2% on Friday to $33.80, in a 52-week range of $25.81 to $34.53.
Home Depot Inc. (HD) is up 10.2%. The home improvement giant has led the consumer discretionary sector on solid earnings and revenue growth coupled with an upbeat outlook. Shares closed Friday at $146.83, down less than 0.1% for the day, in a 52-week range of $119.20 to $150.15.