The Dow Jones Industrial Average Reaches 1,000 Units for the First Time

Theme: Globalization

In November 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs to 1,000 units for the first time in its history, a milestone 76 years in the making.

Floor of New York Stock Exchange on November 14, 1972 (Getty Images)

On November 14, 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crossed the 1,000-point mark, 21,652 days after its inception on October 7, 1896. The index had topped 100 in 1906, 300 in 1928, 500 in 1956, 700 in 1961 and 900 in 1965. In November 1972, the DJIA closed at 1,003.16 units, reflecting investors’ optimism about American business. Richard Nixon had just been reelected President, the economy was growing, and corporate profits were surging.

The day the DJIA passed the 1,000 mark, a total volume of 20.2 million shares was traded. At the time, institutional investors such as mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance companies accounted for 60 percent of the volume traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Brokers and analysts expected that the 1,000-point milestone would attract individual investors back to the market.

In 1972, Goldman Sachs was involved in the public offerings of common stock for Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Company, Dunkin-Donuts Inc., and Whirlpool Corporation, among others. That year, the firm managed or co-managed US$6 billion in public offerings of securities of leading American and international companies, and US$3.4 billion in public offerings for nearly 100 governmental entities in the United States and overseas. The firm had 45 general partners, 1,500 employees, and offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, Memphis, and London.

From that date in 1972 when it first passed 1,000, it would take the DJIA more than 14 years to cross the 2,000 point milestone, which it did on January 8, 1987.


This article was originally published as part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of Goldman Sachs' founding in 1869.