Since then, however, that promise has turned to plummet.
The Dow posted losses on 12 of the next 14 trading days, culminating with a drop of 46 points last Friday. In all, since May 1, the Dow has lost 6.17%.
But did you know there was a way you could have avoided the bulk of the damage?
All you had to do was hold the dividend stocks in the 30-stock DJIA that offer the highest current yield.
In fact, numerous academic studies have verified the impressive contribution of dividend stocks to long-term market performance. According to certain studies, dividend yields have been responsible for as much as 90% of stock returns over the past century.
And Standard & Poor's reported last year that the dividend component was "responsible for 44% of the total return" of the S&P 500 over the 80 years from 1930 through 2010.
That is quite impressive considering nearly a third of S&P stocks don't even pay a dividend.
Dividend Stocks and DownturnsHowever, what these studies don't show is just how effective dividends can be in cushioning the impact of a short-term decline in stocks - both in terms of resisting downward price pressure and offsetting capital losses.
So, let's look at some numbers from this month as the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a whole fell 836.83 points, or 6.30%, from May 1 to May 17.
Keep in mind, of course, that they're not based on a scientific study, but rather casual observation.
What you'll learn may make you see dividend stocks in a different light.