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This Day In Market History: Dow Hits Pre-Depression Peak

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This Day In Market History: Dow Hits Pre-Depression Peak

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

What Happened?

On this day 90 years ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its pre-Great Depression peak.

Where The Market Was

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 381.17 and the S&P 500 traded at around 31.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1929, the Vatican gained independence from Italy and became its own state. About 270 guests attended the very first Academy Awards show at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, with silent film “Wings” winning “Outstanding Picture.” A men’s Ritz suit cost $22.50.

Dow Peaks

When the Dow hit 381.17 on Sept. 3, 1929, it was up 24% year to date. It would take the index an incredible 25 years to exceed that high water mark in 1954.

For the two months that followed the Sept. 3 peak, the Dow tanked. The two worst days of the sell-off were the 12.8% drop on “Black Monday” (Oct. 23) and the 11.7% drop on “Black Tuesday” (Oct. 24).

Incredibly, after such a strong start to the year, the Dow would finish 1929 down 17%.

As the Great Depression crippled the U.S. economy, the Dow’s decline continued throughout the next several years. The index didn’t reach its Great Depression low of 41.22 until July 8, 1932. The drop market an 89.2% drop from its 1929 high.

It took the Dow 25 years to make it back above 381 in 1954. Within the next 25 years, the Dow made it above 1,000.

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