10 Largest Drops of Dow Jones

It was October 2008 when I last updated this list.  Back then, we were at the peak of the financial crisis after the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 16, 2008. In October 2008, stocks went up and down like crazy and three of the ten largest single day drops of the Dow Jones Industrial Average occurred in that month.

Nose dive

Today, nearly three years later and long after the recession has been officially declared over, we got a big surprise from the market,  a 512.76-point drop of the Dow, the largest since December 1, 2008 when the benchmark lost 679.95 points. There was no a single reason that caused the big sell-off today, which whipped out the remaining gains of the Dow for the year. Rather, it was a combination of fears of new recession, debt worries from Europe and potentially another disastrous employment report out tomorrow that made investors head to the exit. In the past two weeks, the Dow has lost more than 1,300 points, or more than 10%, putting the index in the correction territory.  For the record, today’s 512.76 points decline, or 4.31%, of the Dow earned it the 9th place in the largest single day losses list.

Rank Date Closing Value Change (points)
Change (%)
1 09/29/2008 10,365.45 -777.68 -6.98%
2 10/15/2008 8,577.91 -733.08 -7.87%
3 09/17/2001 8,920.70 -684.81 -7.13%
4 12/01/2008 8,149.09 -679.95 -7.70%
5 10/09/2008 8,579.19 -678.91 -7.33%
6 04/14/2000 10,305.77 -617.78 -5.66%
7 10/27/1997 7,161.15 -554.26 -7.18%
8 10/22/2008 8,519.21 −514.45 −5.69%
9 08/04/2011 11,383.68 −512.76 −4.31%
10 08/31/1998 7,539.06 −512.62 −6.37%

Update: On September 29, 2008, the Dow lost 777.68 points as the House rejected the proposed bailout plan, the largest point drop ever.

Photo credit: mymbg1

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7 Responses to “10 Largest Drops of Dow Jones”

  1. Dividend Growth Investor |  Sep 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I think that a more representative chart would be one where you look at percentage changes in the index, as opposed to point changes. The 500 point drop in 1987 was scarier than the one yesterday..