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History Says: Don't Trust Big One-Day Dow Gains

Yes, okay. The Dow Jones numbers look fabulous today, as the index made one of its greatest one-day percentage leaps ever.

But is that alone cause for optimism? History says no. Seven of the top 10 days in Dow Jones history didn't signal better days ahead. Instead, much the opposite is true: They occurred during the depths of the Great Depression.

Here are the stats on days with similarly large gains, courtesy of Dow Jones.

Top 10 Percentage Gains

Date..................Pct. gain
1. Sept. 15, 1933.....15.34
2. Oct. 6, 1931........14.87
3. Oct. 30, 1929......12.34*
4. Sept. 21, 1932.....11.36
5. Oct. 13, 2008......11.08
6. Oct. 28, 2008......10.88
7. Oct. 21, 1987......10.15**
8. Aug. 3, 1932.........9.52
9. Feb. 11, 1932........9.47
10. Nov. 14, 1929......9.36

* The Wednesday following Black Monday and Tuesday
** Two days after the Black Monday crash.

-- Peter Whoriskey

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 28, 2008; 7:04 PM ET
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