Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Markets tank further

The S&P 500 closed below 1000 today, the first time it's done that since October 2003. Bets on the Dow breaking 9000 falling before the end of the week?

Oh, to put it in scale: The S&P 500's down about 1/3rd off it's high (back in late summer of 2007). The Dow is down over 30% off it's high (same timeframe). Those are scary numbers. During the great stock market crash of 1929 the Dow lost 90% before it was over, and we're nowhere near that number yet. But, the 1929 crash didn't happen in a single day. During the 5 days that're considered the major crash itself, the markets were down 10-15% day-over-day. Right now we're seeing the major indexes losing 5-7% day-over-day, so we're seeing about half the declines of the biggest crash on record. That's not a reassuring sign there. And the 1929 crash was over in a couple of months. We've been in a steady decline for 15 months now and it only looks to be accelerating.

Don't panic. You're already in free-fall without a parachute, so stop worrying about finding the rip-cord and start looking for the softest spot to hit.

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