Dow's nearly 1,600-point plunge marks its biggest one-day point drop ever

Key Points
  • In percentage terms, Monday's nearly 1,600-point drop during trading hours was a 6.2 percent decline.
  • The biggest previous intraday point drop was Aug. 24, 2015, when the Dow fell 1,089 points before recovering somewhat.
Dow suffers largest intra-day point drop in history

The Dow Jones industrial average marked its biggest single-day point drop on Monday afternoon, plunging nearly 1,600 points during trading hours before recovering to close down 1,175.

Officially the Dow fell 1,597, a 6.26 percent drop. But the index of 30 large U.S. companies was recovering some of that decline as the day headed toward the closing bell at 4 p.m. in New York.

The previous record drop during trading hours was 1,089 points on Aug. 24, 2015, a 6.6 percent drop. But in percentage terms, the worst sell-off in recent years was the "flash crash" of May 6, 2010, when the Dow temporarily plunged 998 points, or more than 9 percent. Trading would recover both days, but the Dow would still close down more than 3 percent on each of them.

These more recent events challenge the sharp market downdrafts seen during the worst days of the late-2008 financial crisis. On Oct. 6 that year, the market fell 800 points during trading hours, or 7.7 percent, before recovering to close down 3.5 percent.

The worst point drop for a single day was the 777 decline on Sept. 29, 2008, when Congress first failed to approve the government's bank bailout plan. It would later go on to pass that plan.

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