Whoosh! Market Shows Record YTD Decline

February 06, 2008

S&P 500 has its worst year-to-date performance ever.

Did you hear that sucking sound? That was the sound of the United States stock markets as they closed for the day on Tuesday, February 5. Before the final numbers were even in, S&P had sent out an email notifying recipients that the S&P 500 had its worst year-to-date performance for this time period EVER with a decline of roughly 8.90%. It seems the previous record was set nearly 70 years ago in 1939, when the index had a year-to-date decline of 7.95%.

The S&P 500 fell 3.20% on Tuesday, its worst one-day drop in six months. At the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.93% for a total year-to-date decline of 7.39%. Tuesday was its biggest one-day percentage drop in almost a year—it fell 3.30% on February 27 last year. The Nasdaq-100 was down 3.02%.

At the close of trading, the S&P 500 was down 14.6% from its high on October 9, 2007. That works out to about $2.10 trillion in total market capitalization down the tubes—y'know, the ones that are making that sucking sound? Each and every one of the index's 10 sectors are in the red—Information Technology is the worst off with a 15.87% decline, while Consumer Discretionary is down just 4.67%.

Blame it on the service sector: The Institute for Supply Management issued a report that said the service sector shrank for the first time in nearly five years. Investors took the information as further indication of a recession and sent the markets into a tailspin.


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