Thursday, November 20, 2008

market at 11-year low

Wall Street slumped Thursday, with the S&P 500 plunging to an 11-1/2 year low as fears of a prolonged recession sparked a massive selloff.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index lost 6.7% and closed at its lowest point sine April 14, 1997.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled (INDU) 5.6% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) slumped 5.1%. Both the Dow and Nasdaq closed at their lowest points since March 12, 2003, which was just above the low of the last bear market.

The Dow has lost 872 points, or 10.4%, over the last two sessions. It saw a bigger two-day point drop in the two sessions after the presidential election, but it hadn't seen either two-day percentage drops since October 1987, according to Dow Jones.

Stocks slipped through the early afternoon following miserable readings on the labor market and manufacturing sector. The major gauges briefly bounced after hitting fresh 5-1/2 year lows. But the recovery attempt dissolved as Congress haggled over the fate of the automakers and Citigroup led the bank stocks sharply lower.

Since peaking at an all-time closing high of 1,565.15 on Oct. 9, 2007, the S&P 500 has lost 52%. The Dow has lost nearly 47% since closing at an all-time high of 14,164.53 on the same day. Since hitting a bull market high of 2,859.12 on Oct. 31, 2007, the Nasdaq has lost 54%.

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