Today's ISM non manufacturing number of 41.9 is the second lowest ever reading for the 10 year old index. The number came in well below consensus estimates of 53.0. The only time the index was lower was in October 2001 when the index hit 40.5.
An index reading above 50 percent indicates that the non-manufacturing economy in that index is generally expanding; below 50 percent, that it is generally declining. The last time the index was below 50 was March 2003.