The Dow & the S&P finished down for the sixth consecutive day today, with the Dow Industrial Average losing 4.2% and the S&P down 4.9% in the last six days as of Wednesday’s closing levels. The last time that both major US equity indexes were down for six straight days in a row at the start of a month simultaneously was on October 8th, 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. In October 2008 both the Dow & the S&P recorded 8-consecutive days of declines that ended on October 10, as the Dow had tumbled 2399.46 points or 22.11 percent and the S&P had declined 267.14 points or 22.9 percent. However, our current 6 day drop is more modest when compared to the October 2008’s losing streak.
Today, the Dow posted its longest daily losing streak since July 2nd, 2010 when the Dow ended down for 7 days in a row, and shed 611.96 points or 5.94 percent on this 7-consecutive day period of declines. The S&P recorded today its longest daily consecutive drop since the six-day ended losing streak of February 23rd, 2009 when it fell 91.86 points or 11 percent for this period.
In the past 21 years and excluding the current streak, the S&P has had losing streaks of 6 days or more, only 14 times in 2009, 2008, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, and 1990. See the table below for S&P’s biggest losing streaks of 6 days or more in the past 21 years. Thus, with our historical data going as far back as 1928, the biggest daily losing streak on record for the S&P was a 12-day losing streak that ended on 5/9/1966 when the S&P posted a decline of 6.6 percent for this 12-day period.
All the Dow components are now down for the past six days, and leading the Dow’s 6 day slide are: Bank of America , Cisco , Alcoa , Caterpillar , and America Express . Leading the S&P lower in the last six days are: Newell Rubbermaid , RadioShack , PulteGroup , Micron Tech , and Alpha Natural Resources , with 98% of the S&P 500 in negative territory for the past 6 days.