The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) witnessed its largest single day point decline ever on February 5, 2018 when it fell nearly 1,600 points.

While in absolute terms that is enormous but it constituted a 4% decline in the value of the index, by no means was this the worst the Dow has seen compared to past sell-offs.

Here’s a look at some of the largest intra-day drops for the DJI in terms of percentage, according to market data collected by The Wall Street Journal:

10 – July 21, 1933

The Dow declined 7.55, losing 7.84% of its value to close at 88.71. This came as a shock to bulls expecting a rebound after a brutal crash.

9 – October 15, 2008

The Dow declined 733.08, losing 7.87% of its value to close at 8,577.91. News about declining retail sales in September spooked investors into selling equities.

8 – October 26, 1987

The Dow declined 156.83, losing 8.04% of its value to close at 1,793.93. This was just a few days after Black Monday and became known as the mini-crash of 1987.

7 – March 14, 1907

The Dow declined 6.89, losing 8.29% of its value to close at 76.23. This was one of the early indications that would lead to the bank panic of 1907.

6 – August 12, 1932

The Dow declined 5.79, losing 8.40% of its value to close at 63.11, making this the 6th largest percentage drop in the DJ’s history.

5 – December 18, 1899

The fifth largest Dow crash, declining 8.72% and closing at 58.27, was due to over-speculation and the suspension of the trading of Produce Exchange Trust Company.

4 – November 6, 1929

Just a week after Black Tuesday, The Dow declined further, at 25.55, losing 9.92% of its value to close at 232.13. This was the final big drop in a year full of disaster for the Dow, as seen in #3 and #2.

3 – October 29, 1929

The day after Black Tuesday (#2) the Dow declined 30.57 losing 11.73% of its value to close at 230.07. As seen in the previous entry, it wouldn’t be the last drop in 1929.

2 -October 28, 1929

Known as Black Tuesday, this historic market crash served as the greatest indicator of the looming Great Depression. The Dow fell 12.8% to close at 260.65. This crash would prove catastrophic, and the US would spend years getting out of the rut they were in.

1 – October 19, 1987

On this day known in market history as Black Monday, markets around the worlds crashed harder than they ever have before or since.
The Dow fell 508 points, losing a horrifying 22.61% of its value at 1,738.74. This dramatic fall brought on the introduction of trading curbs and circuit breakers to make sure nothing like this ever happened again.


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Author: Caleb Silver
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