The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch notes today that the last time the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for nine days was Feb. 22, 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president and the country was struggling to come to grips with a period of anemic economic growth and high inflation.
The market commentary by Mark Hulbert heavy with irony asks, "Isn’t it comforting to know that we’ve made such progress over the last three decades?
Actually, about the only thing that is comforting in the historical data on Dow losing streaks is that many of them have occurred near major bear-market bottoms.
For example, before February 1978, the previous time the Dow declined for nine straight sessions was in October 1974. That came just two months prior to the end of the punishing 1973-74 bear market.
Does a streak of nine losing sessions in a row increase the odds that the market will rise on the 10th? Unfortunately not.
In more than a few of the past cases in which the market dropped that many days in a row, the market continued dropping for at least another day.
In fact, the all-time record for number of days in a row in which the Dow fell appears to be 14 — a streak that ended on Aug. 13, 1941, as the rumblings of World War II were reverberating through Wall Street.
One can only hope that we’re not playing out that historical parallel.
Click here to read more from Mark Hulbert.
The DOW closed the day 512 points down the worst one day drop since December 2008.