The Bush Administration has done everything in its power to pump up the Stock Market. Tax Cuts to the Wealthy. Tax Cuts to Business. Cut Capital gains tax. In spite of this, today was the 7th worst day of all time.
Stocks tumbled across the board Tuesday, after declining markets in China and Europe and a steep drop in durable goods orders triggered a massive selloff on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average (down 416.02 to 12,216.24) tumbled 416.02 points, its biggest one-day point loss since the day the stock market reopened after the Sept. 11th attacks. On that day, the Dow lost 684.81 points.
On a percentage basis, the Dow lost about 3.3 percent. The blue-chip barometer has now fallen for five sessions straight.
The broader S&P 500 (down 50.33 to 1,399.04) index fell 3.5 percent and saw its biggest one-day percentage loss in nearly four years. The S&P 500 also slumped for the previous four sessions.
The Nasdaq (down 96.66 to 2,407.86) composite tumbled about 3.9 percent and saw its biggest one-day percentage loss since Dec. 9, 2002, according to early tallies.
The Russell 2000 (down 31.03 to 792.66) small-cap index lost almost 4 percent.
Trying to limit the declines, the New York Stock Exchange said it imposed trading curbs as of 1:03 p.m. ET, around the time the Dow slipped 200 points, CNN confirmed.
Treasury bonds rallied as investors sought a safe place to park their money while the dollar fell. Oil prices inched higher and gold prices fell.
Here’s a look at what was moving near the close.
Chinese stocks slumped 9 percent Tuesday – the worst one-day selloff in a decade – on concerns that the government would interfere to cool the speculation that drove the Shanghai market up nearly 130 percent last year.
Other Asian markets slumped in tandem. European shares also tumbled.
“The selloff demonstrates somewhat starkly the inter-connectedness of stock markets around the world,” said Hugh Johnson, chief strategist at ThomasLloyd Global Asset Management.
“Markets can decline in one seemingly isolated part of the world and that decline can be transmitted to other parts of the world through the psychology,” he said.
The slump in world markets exacerbated concerns that Wall Street is due for a selloff after a nearly eight-month rally that has sent the Dow industrials to record highs and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to more than 6-year highs.
Market veterans have been looking for a stock selloff for some months now due to the combination of slowing economic and earnings growth expected this year, said Harry Clark, CEO at Clark Capital Management.
Although some analysts have been calling for a pullback of about 10 percent for the market, Clark said a smaller drop is more likely.
“We’ll probably see a decline of about 4 or 5 percent and then it will be done,” Clark said, noting that a lot of the selling will be washed out within the next week or so as the shock wears off.
ThomasLloyd Global’s Johnson agreed that the selling should ease. But markets will “continue to be vulnerable to big decisions by big policy-makers in big places like China,” he said.
News that Vice President Dick Cheney was the apparent target in a Taliban suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan added to the day’s worries.
A morning report in the United States showed a steeper-than-expected decline in durable goods orders in January, adding to concerns about slowing economic growth.
Slowing growth ultimately drags on corporate profits, making stocks more expensive relative to earnings.
All 30 components of the Dow Jones industrial average fell. (more…)