Market Overview

This Day In Market History: Cornelius Vanderbilt Prevents A Stock Market Crash — For One Day

This Day In Market History: Cornelius Vanderbilt Prevents A Stock Market Crash — For One Day

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On this day 145 years ago, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s plan to support the U.S. stock market by buying stocks worked for one day.

Where The Market Was

Vanderbilt’s attempt to end the Panic of 1873 predates both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

What Else Was Going On In The World

In 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for voting in the U.S. presidential election. Famed U.S. outlaw Jesse James and the James Younger Gang committed their first train robbery. One dozen pairs of Levi Strauss blue jeans cost $13.50.

Vanderbilt’s Plan

After American bank Jay Cooke & Co. declared bankruptcy on Sept. 18, 1873, Vanderbilt held a secret meeting with other wealthy investors that evening. At the time, Vanderbilt was the wealthiest railroad tycoon in the U.S. and was convinced that he and his allies could step in and prevent a stock market collapse the following day by aggressively buying shares of targeted stocks.

When the market opened Sept. 19, stock prices initially tumbled, but Vanderbilt and his crew were able to successfully stop the bleeding with their buying. Unfortunately, while Vanderbilt was able to stave off a market crash for one day, the sell-off resumed the following day. The fall-out from the so-called Panic of 1873 was so bad that the NYSE would not reopen for trading for another 10 days.

Related Links:

This Day In Market History: Cooke & Co. Bankruptcy Triggers Panic

A Concerning Weakness In Bank Stocks

Public domain photo by J.C. Buttre via Wikimedia. 


Related Articles

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: this day in market historyEducation General Best of Benzinga