The Biggest One Day Gains And Losses for the Dow, on a Points and Percentage Basis





dow jones industrial - building sign - tickerThe Dow Jones Industrial Average was a rollercoaster this past week as the world dealt with a quickly escalating financial crisis.

The daily swings seemed massive. However, on a historical scale, they were not even close to being the biggest one day gains or losses, on a point basis or on a percentage basis. While comparing the biggest ever gains and losses, it is important to list both the points and the percentage swings. In 2008, a 50 point swing on the Dow is nothing, as the average currently sits at about 10,500. However, back in 1929, the Dow was trading at 250, which would have meant that a 50 point swing would have been a 20% gain or loss for the market. This is obviously a big difference, which is why we are listing both.

Here are the Five Biggest One Day Point Gains for the DJIA:

1. 10/13/2008 -> +936.42 (sheer joy grips Wall Street as investors cheered the aggressive actions taken by both the US and European governments to combat the credit crisis)

2. 3/16/2000 -> +499.19 (the height of the Dot Com boom, while was fueling optimism throughout the entire market. People were pouring all of their money into the market at this point, and the rising tide was lifting all boats)

3. 7/24/2002 -> +488.95 (the market was starting to recover from the post 9/11 recession)

4. 7/29/2002 -> +447.49 (see above)

5. 3/18/2008 -> +420.41

Here are the Five Biggest One Day Point Losses for the DJIA:

1. 9/29/2008 -> -777.68 (meltdown after bailout fails to pass House)

2. 9/17/2001 -> -684.81 (first full day of trading after 9/11)

3. 10/09/2008 -> -678.91 (fear completely gripping the markets)

4. 4/14/2000 -> -617.78 (the Dot Com bubble is popping)

5. 10/27/1997 -> -554.26 (Asian stock market crisis)

Here are the Five Biggest One Day Gains for the DJIA (as a %):

1. 3/15/1933 -> +15.34%

2. 10/06/1931 -> +14.87%

3. 10/30/1929 -> +12.34%

4. 9/21/1932 -> +11.36%

5. 10/13/2008 -> +11.08%

Note: Out of the top twenty biggest moves in the history of the Dow (on a percentage basis), a full 19 took place prior to 1934, during the Great Depression era. Only one occurred during the modern era, and that was the post 1987 stock market crash rebound in 1987

Here are the Five Biggest One Day Losses for the Dow Jones Industry Average (as a %):

1. 10/19/1987 -> -22.61% (Stock Market Crash of 1987)

2. 10/28/1929 -> -12.82%

3. 10/29/1929 -> -11.73%

4. 11/06/1929 -> -9.92%

5. 12/18/1899 -> -8.72%

Note: This information is not updated regularly. For up to date data, please visit our Dow Jones Historical Data page.




Filed under: The Economic Meltdown | Stock Market Education

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