Somebody, please call a bottom … 6000? Okay … just so long as it isn’t 5000. One thing is for sure. It can’t go below 0.
The stock slide that pushed indexes to new 12-year lows picked up speed in the afternoon on fears that economic recovery may still be a long way off.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled through the 7000 level shortly after the open, then through 6900 and 6800 to finish at 6763.29, down 299.64, or 4.2%. The Dow has fallen 7,401.24 points from the October 2007 record, a 52% drop.
All 30 Dow components fell. Though the financial sectors woes continued to hold center stage, the energy sector also was a loser, hurt by a 10% slide in oil prices as traders bet on further declines in demand.
Prices for Treasury securities rose, and yields fell, as investors sought the safety of government debt. But gold, which had been strong, slipped for a sixth day.
Some market participants are beginning to talk about a possible bottom around 6000 for the Dow, said Doreen M. Mogavero, president of New York floor brokerage Mogavero, Lee & Co. “This market will only stop [falling] when people run out of stock to sell,” she said.
Still, traders erupted in applause at Mondays closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange, after the S&P came back from an intraday low just below 700 and the Dow recovered from a 300-point-plus decline.