Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.
On this day in 1945, the U.S. stock market closed to celebrate Victory over Japan Day.
Where The Market Was
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 164.79 and the S&P 500 traded at 14.87.
What Else Was Going On In The World?
In 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office for the fourth time but died shortly thereafter from the effects of polio. The United Nations was created. Average monthly rent in the U.S. was $60.
World War II Officially Ends
After Japan’s unconditional surrender on Aug. 14, 1945, the U.S. stock market shut down on Tuesday, Aug. 15 in celebration of the victory. When markets reopened Friday, Aug. 17, they did so smoothly. Rumors of Japan’s surrender had been circulating on Wall Street for more than a week after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Dow finished Friday’s trading session down 0.25%, indicating that an end to the war was already priced into the market in the near-term. Over the next six months, however, the Dow would rally, gaining 21.2%.
When World War II began, the U.S. unemployment rate had been near 25% thanks to the Great Depression. However, demand for goods and supplies for the war drove the unemployment rate down to 10% by the time Japan surrendered.
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