The Worst Month in the History of the DJIA? September 1931

-- Worst months for DJIA - Dow Jones Industrial Average --When April came to a close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was trading at 11,008.61.

As of May 21st, the DJIA has declined about 9.3% for the month to 10,193.39, dragged down by worries about the future of the European Union.

Now, a 9.3% decline in just one month (actually, less than a month) is pretty bad, but it's not even close to being the worst month in the history of the index.

Here are the top 10:

September, 1931 (-30.7%)

April, 1932 (-23.68%)

March, 1938 (-23.67%)

October, 1987 (-23.22%)

May, 1940 (-21.70%)

October, 1929 (-20.36%)

May, 1932 (-20.01%)

June, 1930 (-17.72%)

December, 1931 (-17.01%)

February, 1933 (-15.62%)


Now, nine of the top ten largest one-month declines (as a %) for the DJIA came before the end of World War II. The most recent top ten decline happened over 20 years ago, in October of 1987.

In case you were wondering, the top two largest single month declines in the past couple of decades were:

August, 1998 (-15.13%)

October, 2008 (-14.06%)


So, while May 2010 has certainly been a poor month for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it hasn't been even remotely close to the worst month in the history of the index.

In case you were curious, the five worst months for the index in terms of total points lost:

2008-10, -1525.65 points
1998-08, -1344.22 points
2008-06, -1288.31 points
2001-09, -1102.19 points
2002-09, -1071.57 points

Source: Dow Jones Industrial Average Historical Data

Filed under: General Knowledge

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