October 19, 1987: The Crash

Stocks open sharply lower and continues to fall for most of the session, as the Dow sheds 507 points, or 22%, to 1738. Trading volume is triple the recent daily average.

Tom Brokaw begins the evening news wrap of "the worst day ever" for the markets with a recap of the day's 508 point dive and a look at how market's in Asia are reacting. In Japan, stocks "opened low, then fell off a cliff."

(Part 1) [02:29]

Would President Reagan intervene? Chris Wallace, reporting from the White House, says it is unlikely. Administration officials argue that the economic is strong and are mystified at the market's sudden deterioration.

(Part 2) [01:34]

The Black Monday crash of 1987 naturally brought comparisons to the Black Tuesday crash of 1929. But as Brokaw points out, there were differences as well, especially in terms of leverage.

(Part 3) [00:47]

It is not just the fat cats who are hurting in this market nosedive. Small investors, through direct investment and mutual funds, feel the pain of the nosedive as well. Would that lead to some political pressure to end program trading?

(Part 4) [01:44]

From Miami to Los Angeles, investors watch hundreds of thousands of dollars disappear from their portfolios. Retirees are particularly hard hit. "You'd have to be an idiot not to worry about it." But others see a buying opportunity.

(Part 5) [03:27]

Will the market's plummet lead to a recession? One economist thinks it is a possibility. But another Wall Street professional says there could be some room for economic manuevering ... "Alan Greenspan is a competent guy."

(Part 6) [04:31]

The crash adds fuel to the fire in the ongoing partisan politics of the time -- particularly the argument over government spending in the face of budget shortfalls and a huge trade gap. "The biggest problem we got is the deficit and Reagan just won't recognize it," says Democratic Congressman Dan Rostenkowski.

(Part 7) [03:18]

What will happen to Wall Street Tuesday? Layoffs? More losses? Some brokers are licking their wounds, but others ware philosophical, expecting a turnaround sooner or later. "Since I've been a broker ... the world has come to an end six times."

(Part 8) [01:43]