- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Ugly end to historic October on Wall Street
Question of the Day
Under the debt agreement, banks will take a 50 percent loss on their Greek government bonds. Europe will also add money to a financial rescue fund to protect other countries. And banks will increase their capital reserves to protect themselves.
With the October books closed, the Dow was at 11,955.01, up about 83 percent from March 2009, its lowest point after the financial meltdown. It would have to rise more than 2,200 points from here to set an all-time high.
The S&P 500 finished the month at 1,253.50, down 32 points on Monday, or 2.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite index fell 53 points for the day, or 1.9 percent, and ended October at 2,684.
Besides the Depression-heralding collapse in 1929, the crash in 1987 and the meltdown 2008, the stock market suffered through a mini-crash on Friday the 13th in October 1989 and a 554-point drop in the Dow on Oct. 27, 1997.
But the month “turned the tide” in 11 bear markets after World War II, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. And it turned out to be the best single month for the market from 1993 to 2007, according to the almanac.
Strong as it was, this October wasn’t close to ranking as one of the best. After the 1929 crash, the market routinely ran up much bigger percentage gains. In July and August 1932, for example, the market gained more than 36 percent each month.
Worries about a second recession have receded somewhat. The government announced last week that the economy in July, August and September grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent, more than twice the speed of earlier this year.
The European debt crisis is still far from fixed. One troubling sign is that borrowing costs for Italy and Spain have increased, a signal that traders remain worried about those countries’ ability to pay their debts.
And there are problems closer to home. A congressional “supercommittee” has to find $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts in less than a month, and Republicans and Democrats are fighting about whether to focus on higher taxes or cuts in federal spending.
If they can’t agree, investors are worried that Moody’s, the prominent credit rating agency, will follow S&P and strip the United States of its top rating, or that S&P will lower its rating even further.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world