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This Day In Market History: Nixon's Price Freezes

This Day In Market History: Nixon's Price Freezes

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

What Happened?

On this day 47 years ago, U.S. President Richard Nixon placed a national freeze on wages, prices and rent.

Where The Market Was

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 888.95 and the S&P 500 traded at 98.76. Today, the Dow is trading at 25,162.41 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,818.37.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1971, the U.S. voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 via the 26th Amendment. Walt Disney World opened in Orlando. A gallon of gasoline cost 40 cents.

Price Freezes

In 1970, U.S. inflation was about 7 percent, and inflation was trending at roughly a 6 percent pace in 1971 when Nixon announced his price freeze. The price controls were Nixon’s response to what he saw as an overheating U.S. economy. Nixon announced his 90-day price freeze in a televised address to the nation.

The U.S. stock market soared at the news, with the Dow gaining 3.85 percent on record trading volume.

In the longer-term, Nixon’s price controls didn’t put a damper on inflation. By 1975, the U.S. inflation rate had jumped into the double digits to 11 percent and it eventually hit 13 percent by 1980. By 1982, U.S. inflation had dipped back below 4 percent and it hasn’t been above 5 percent since 1990.

Related Link:

This Day In Market History: US Stock Market Closes To Celebrate V-J Day


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