Dow's 50 worst days

Wall Street continued to make the wrong kind of history on Monday, posting the sixth-worst loss the Dow has ever seen.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 4, 2011 5:22PM

Updated Monday, Aug. 8, at 5:06 PM ET

 

The stock market plunged Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) falling 635 points -- the sixth-worst point loss in the Dow's 115-year history. 

 

The Dow closed down 5.6% to 10,810, its 48th-worst percentage loss. That came on the heels of last Thursday's 512.76-point loss. The blue chips have fallen 11% in the first six trading days of August, the worst start for an August ever.

 

On Sept. 29, 2008, the Dow plummeted 777.68 points, its largest point loss ever.

 

Here is how Monday's loss compares.


The Dow's biggest point losses
Date

close

Point loss 
9/29/2008

10,365.45

-777.68
10/15/2008

8,577.91

-733.08
9/17/2001

8,920.70

-684.81
12/1/2008

8,149.09

-679.95
10/9/2008

8,579.19

-678.91
8/8/2011

10,809.85

-634.76
4/14/2000

10,305.78

-617.77
10/27/1997

7,161.14

-554.26
10/22/2008

8,519.21

-514.45
8/4/2011

11,383.68

-512.76
8/31/1998

7,539.06

-512.62
10/7/2008

9,447.11

-508.39
10/19/1987

1,738.74

-508.00
9/15/2008

10,917.51

-504.48
11/5/2008

9,139.27

-486.01
9/17/2008

10,609.66

-449.36
11/20/2008

7,552.29

-444.99
11/6/2008

8,695.79

-443.48
3/12/2001

10,208.25

-436.37
11/19/2008

7,997.28

-427.47
2/27/2007

12,216.24

-416.02
11/12/2008

8,282.66

-411.30
6/6/2008

12,209.81

-394.64
7/19/2002

8,019.26

-390.23
8/9/2007

13,270.68

-387.18
9/20/2001

8,376.21

-382.92
2/10/2009

7,888.88

-381.99
10/12/2000

10,034.58

-379.21
5/20/2010

10,068.01

-376.36
3/7/2000

9,796.04

-374.47
9/22/2008

11,015.69

-372.75
2/5/2008

12,265.13

-370.03
10/6/2008

9,955.50

-369.88
10/19/2007

13,522.02

-366.94
11/1/2007

13,567.87

-362.14
11/7/2007

13,300.02

-360.92
1/4/2000

10,997.94

-359.57
6/26/2008

11,453.42

-358.41
8/27/1998

8,165.99

-357.36
9/3/2002

8,308.05

-355.45
10/2/2008

10,482.85

-348.22
5/6/2010

10,520.32

-347.80
9/4/2008

11,188.23

-344.65
11/14/2008

8,497.31

-337.94
1/20/2009

7,949.09

-332.13
6/4/2010

9,931.97

-323.31
3/14/2001

9,973.46

-317.34
2/29/2008

12,266.39

-315.79
10/24/2008

8,378.95

-312.30
7/26/2007

13,473.57

-311.50
29Comments
Aug 5, 2011 12:36AM
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Congrats to all of the people who have pointed out the irrelevance of comparing the loss based on points!

 

Unfortunately, I believe the writers of these kind of articles know that they are misleading but they don't care because they are just trying to be dramatic and want people to become traumitized so that they will read more of the same "sky is falling" mentality that is prevasive in much of today's journalism. Where is the ethics in journalism anyway?

Aug 5, 2011 1:12AM
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This list is stupid.  They need to rank the days by percentage lost not points.  Of course you're going to lose more points when the DOW began at 14,000 as opposed to just 2000 decades ago.
Aug 6, 2011 8:13PM
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Without a DOUBT, There should a be a "percentage drop list" side by side.

 

 And then put their computers to work,along with brain power to develop an

 

"INFLATION adjusted list" also...Then and there, we would have the "TRUE" comparisons.

 

It's very good to see MSN readers,were not taken in by this HOOEY.  Confused

 

Charley, the readers have given you and the others, A GREAT ASSIGNMENT !! Please.   Nerd 

Aug 4, 2011 6:06PM
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The data needs to be sorted by % loss as the absolute values are not comparable!  1987 is by far the worst one day slide in my investment experience.
Aug 5, 2011 12:57AM
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You open your remarks emphasizing the loss in terms of percentage but then provide a confirming table as if the points lost was the most relevant.  This is not only inconsistent, it is IDIOTIC!   Had you done even a modicum of homework, you would have realized that the worst impact on the DOW occurred October 19, 1987 (a 23% drop) and that the loss on August 4, 2011 (4.31%) was roughly only about one fifth the impact experienced in 1987.   Worse, and excusing the "noble effort" to just enhance circulation, in terms of percentage lost, the drop on 8/04/121 was only about half-way between the absolute worst and all the remaining 50 biggest down days.  But then, you are "Journalists" and not expected to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Aug 4, 2011 8:23PM
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This is dumb! Please restate based on % loss. Points are irrelevant.
Thank you.

Aug 4, 2011 6:16PM
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I agree with Craigster56.  Percentage loss list should be given as comparison.  Percentage loss is more indicative of severity of market action.  Please create similar article with list of 50 worst percentage loss days in DOW in history. 
Aug 4, 2011 9:46PM
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Oct 19th 1987 was 22.61% which is by far the worst day
Aug 8, 2011 7:45AM
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Sorry Charley...Thought this was your list or doing........IT'S NOT

 

But still a good idea for someone to do a comparable percentage chart.

Side by Side.

Aug 5, 2011 12:28AM
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Who is the moron who wrote this article?  The point total is irrelevent.  What matters is the % drop.  The worst one day drop in the last 50 years was by far the October 1987 drop which was 20% in one day.  Today is really not even in the top 20 based on a % basis.  But, then I would not expect these journalists to understand that.  Most economic journalists are complete morons.  They are showing the #1 drop as 777 points which was only 6.9%. 
Aug 4, 2011 8:06PM
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How about adjusting for inflation?

An 11,300 point Dow in 2011 is far smaller than a 10,300 point Dow in the year 2000. 

Aug 9, 2011 1:51PM
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The Dow's 10 worst days
5 of the worst days happened in between 1929 and 1933

2 of the worst dayts happend in 19887 & 1988

the otehr three happended in 1899, 1907 & 2008

 

By percent decline:
- Oct. 19, 1987: 22.6 percent, or 508 points
- Oct. 28, 1929: 12.8 percent, or 38 points
- Oct. 29, 1929: 11.7 percent, or 31 points
- Nov. 6, 1929: 9.9 percent, or 26 points
- Dec. 18, 1899: 8.7 percent, or 6 points
- Aug. 12, 1932: 8.4 percent, or 6 points
- March 14, 1907: 8.3 percent, or 7 points
- Oct. 26, 1987: 8 percent, or 157 points
- Oct. 15, 2008: 7.9 percent, or 733 points
- July 21, 1933: 7.8 percent, or 8 points

By points:
- Sept. 29, 2008: 778 points, or 7 percent
- Oct. 15, 2008: 733 points, or 7.9 percent
- Sept. 17, 2001: 685 points, or 7.1 percent
- Dec. 1, 2008: 680 points, or 7.7 percent
- Oct. 9, 2008: 679 points, or 7.3 percent
- April 14, 2000: 618 points, or 5.7 percent
- Oct. 27, 1997: 554 points, or 7.2 percent
- Oct. 22, 2008: 514 points, or 5.7 percent
- Aug. 4, 2011: 513 points, or 4.3 percent
- Aug. 31, 1998: 513 points, or 6.4 percent

Aug 9, 2011 1:52PM
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Dear "Someone" don't like the figures, huh, considering that inflation has held at a low rate for the last three years, the figures stand.  In 2008 the dow started the year over 13000, and finished in the 8000s...we lost nearly 5000 points that year.  I voted for Bush and I voted for him twice, I worked in the Financial world for about ten years, I do understand the stock market more than most, but like it or not history is history, it will not always meet your agendas needs.  During the 2000s, the banks and stock market were allowed to play the game of "Greed is Good".  Banks and Brokerages were paying CEOs hundreds of millions of dollars to continue keeping the market inflated at a level the breached Fantasyland.  For those of us who were invested in the stock market, we lived in daily "hell" as the numbers came in.  No I did not cash out, and my investments did recover, but the market crashed and crashed some more.  Weekly jobs reports read like this "new jobs report 150,000 more unemployed, 250,000 more unemployed, 450,000 more unemployed" meanwhile the CEOs collected their pay.  We lost an enormous amount of wealth, we lost an enormous amount of jobs, we lost trust in the banking system ....that had not happened since the 30s.  We were on the edge of catastrophe, averted by the US government bailing out the banks, and other large companies to big to fail.  Those that have forgotten 2008, are like a person coming out of a storm cellar, looking at their home flattened, car gone, and say "Ah, that wasn't so bad"....To correct a problem the first thing one must do, is get honest about it.  Does that mean that it was the GOPs fault, most likely not, nor was it the Democrats fault, the fault lies in people allowing their lives, and the institutes that serve their lives to be run by greed.  Most of the people who are against raising the taxes on earnings over $250,000 per person, or on corporations (and there are no American corporations left) appear to have an illusion that somehow they are going to make it into that catagory, the truth is you're not.  The chances of winning the lotto, or an unknown relative dying and leaving a million, is like throwing a snowball in Texas in July and expecting it to land 100 yards away...
Aug 5, 2011 12:41AM
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Irun,

 

I remember October 19 1987 very well as well.

 

Another key mistake made by many investors that day was to place a sell order on mutual funds early in the day when loss was only 5% or so but they later found out that when you sell a mutual fund you get the end of day price which was a huge wake up call for many.

 

Those that bought funds that day (Oct 19) from cash account also did very well indeed!

Aug 4, 2011 8:44PM
Aug 5, 2011 12:30AM
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I remember the October 1987 drop.  I still have the newspaper headlines as I figured it may not ever be surpassed.  It was an amazing day and presented an amazing buying opportunity.  People that bought the next day did very well. 
Aug 9, 2011 3:34PM
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Harriann,

 

Your correct, I missed that in my research on Google.  My apologies. 

 

Percentages do portray a more accurate picture than point drop, and 2008 was a banner year for tremendous loss in the financial markets Approximately 40%  for the year,  which lead to unprecedented job loss, loss in savings, loss in retirement accounts.

 

The Republicans and the Democrats are both to blame for allowing the financial loop holes to occur.

 

After the 1929 crash, Banks were no longer allowed to sell stocks or insurance.  In the 1950's they could sell stock again.  In the 1990's they could sell insurance again.  My opinion is that congress needs to get its act together and stop squabbling over nonsense and consider the long term goals of stabilizing our nation and it's markets.

 

While it's unpopular, we need to raise taxes and lower spending to erase the past 10 years of tremendous national debt  growth.  This means less funding for programs and taxing income levels appropriately based on today's value of the dollar not the value ten or 20 years ago.

 

Aug 9, 2011 3:23PM
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Youknowimright....Also since 2/2009 to the present, the Dow is up more than 50%. From about 7.2k to now 10.9k. Has any other sitting president had that much good fortune? Don't forget that most of this F-Upped mess started early 2000's with the bush-@ tax cut. I would have gladly had our national debt paid down than to receive a $600 check that we were going to have to pay back anyways. And are we ever paying for it....
Aug 9, 2011 3:18PM
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I don't know how someone came up with 28 out of 50 of the dates were since Obama took office.  Obama came into office on January 20, 2009.  If you're including all dates in 2008, then that was when W. was still in office, and most of those were before Election Day 2008.  And also, please look at the percentage drops.  A 500 point drop in 2011 is different than a 500 point drop in 1987.
Aug 9, 2011 3:32PM
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yaknow... The oil deregulations happend in the 1990's and thus the $4/gal at the pump which then caused the housing bust and the trickle down effect through today. There are many factors that got us here, for today's economy, so has anyone of us done so much to correct their own habits, to make sure that your debts are fully paid for and then help and encourage your neighbores to do the same.

 

The situation is large. it didn't happen with just Obama or the current Congress or overnight, And there isn't a sure fire way to fix the problem.

 

Did you know that most devorices happen because the root of their problems were caused by money woes. That is just (2) people. How many in Congress and all of their aids and researches. then you add in the media and then the peanut gallery.... We elected these people. All those who didn't VOTE should not be complaining. Do your reasearch on how your Rep's vote, your senetor's vote. and then see what they are saying in their campaigns.

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