Last Updated Jul 1, 2011 8:32 AM EDT
By contrast, the S&P 500 price index turned in only a 5.0 percent gain. This index measures only the largest 500 US stocks and strips out the dividends these stocks paid. Jason Zweig recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal on why using the S&P 500 index to measure the stock market is misleading.
It seems the best way to have harnessed the US stock market during this period was to own a broad index fund, such as the Vanguard Total Stock Index fund (VTI), which clocked in a 6.2 percent return - actually 0.3 percentage points above the Wilshire 5000.
What a difference the last four days made
While the history books will show the first six month return as the continuation of the bull, most of the gains came this week. Of the 5.9 percent gain, 4.1 percentage points came in the last four trading days of the six month period. That gain came as Mad Money's Jim Cramer turned bearish on the stock market last week.
The bigger picture
The US stock market is now 1.3 percent higher than it was at the end of 2007, before the market crash and its highest year end close ever. However, it is still 4.7 percent lower than its highest single day close on October 9, 2007.
So though the market is a tad below the all-time high, it is an amazing 113.0 percent higher than the March 9, 2009 bottom.
Note: image from Investmentdiv.com
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