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What are the Worst Stock Market Crashes of the 21st Century?

This chart shows the largest single-day percentage losses of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 2000.

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

After a horrible couple of weeks for stock markets in the United States and internationally, things went from bad to worse on Thursday after President Trump had announced a travel ban shutting out most Europeans from entering the U.S. for at 30 days.

After trading had to be halted for 15 minutes on Thursday morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the S&P 500 each closed the day with losses in excess of nine percent, making sure March 12, 2020, will go down in history as the worst crashes of the (still early) 21st century.

In terms of points shed, March 12 even marked the worst day ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Index, but that doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering that the index briefly flirted with 30,000 points as recently as one month ago, compared to a peak of around 14,000 points prior to the financial crisis of 2008. In terms of percentage losses, Monday’s crash marked the fourth largest single-day drop in the index’ 120-year history and the largest since 1987. As our chart shows, yesterday’s losses were worse than anything is seen at the peak of the financial crisis or after 9/11 illustrating how grim the situation quickly has become.


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