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This Day In Market History: Germany Unconditionally Surrenders

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This Day In Market History: Germany Unconditionally Surrenders
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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 73 years ago, Germany surrendered, ending World War II in Europe.

Where The Market Was

The Dow finished the day at 166.53. The S&P 500 traded at around 14.80. Today, the Dow is trading at 24,425.31 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,677.00.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence from France. American physicist and inventor Percy Spencer accidentally discovered that microwaves can heat food. The average cost of a new American house was $4,600.

Victory In Europe

Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 7, and news of the Allied Victory spread throughout the world on May 8, also known as V-E Day.

The war in the Pacific was winding down as well. U.S. troops captured Okinawa on June 21. On August 6, the Enola Gay dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing roughly 140,000 people. Three days later, a second U.S. atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 70,000 people. On August 14, roughly three months after Germany’s surrender, Japan agreed to an unconditional surrender as well.

The year 1945 was a monumental year for U.S. citizens and investors. Stock didn’t react much on V-E Day, with the down closing the day down less than 1 percent. However, the forward-looking stock market had seen the writing on the wall for months. The Dow had surged 26.7 percent in the 12 months prior to V-E Day.

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Image credit: Col. General Alfred Jodl, Chief of Staff under the Doenitz Regime, signs the document of unconditional surrender. On Jodl's left is General Admiral Von Friedeburg of the German Navy, and on the right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German General Staff.

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