Watch today’s Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Ford’s March sales total trumped that of longtime rival GM.

The last time that happened, 1998, marked a precipitous bounce in the Dow.

Ford recorded 208,714 deliveries last month, compared with GM’s tally of 206,621, according to Ward’s data.

The rare reverse finish has not been since since August 1998, when Blue Oval company trounced GM, 316,657 to 265,902, according to Ward’s.

The last day of that month, the Dow plunged 500 points before regaining 304 points 24 hours later.

Last month’s finish represents a dramatic departure from February, when GM recorded 207,028 deliveries to Ford’s 153,592.

Fueled by strong demand for the Fusion midsize car, Ford’s car sales rose 8.8% in March, compared with like-2010.

Ford truck deliveries soared 17.9%, boosted by an 18.9% gain in F-Series sales.

Midway through today’s trading, the Dow was up nearly 78 points.

emayne@wardsauto.com