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By the Numbers

Robert Hum

Robert Hum
Producer, CNBC.com

Robert Hum is the Markets Producer at CNBC.

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  • While January was a poor month for the markets overall, February turned out to be worse. Both the Dow Industrials & S&P 500 once again had their worst month since last October – a feat which they both achieved in January as well.  Will March be any better?

  • Finishing the day at 7,114.78 yesterday, the Dow closed at its lowest level since May 7, 1997.  7 of the 30 current Dow components were not in the index when the Dow last saw these levels.

  • As the Dow now contains five stocks under $10 (GM, C, BAC, AA, & GE), the Dow Industrials index has come under greater scrutiny on whether it is still a good gauge of the overall market.

  • McDonald’s  is trading up after reporting another month of strong same-store sales, a trend that continues despite the current recession and economic turmoil. Its low-priced menu items have evidently remained attractive to consumers. . .

  • 090202 Steelers.jpg

    With their victory last night, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a record sixth Super Bowl title, surpassing the five championships won by each the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. While no team has won four Super Bowls, five teams (the Raiders, Redskins, Packers, Patriots, and Giants) have also won three championships apiece.  Is this a good sign for the markets?

  • While investors hoped that a new year would bring better results, a plethora of downbeat earnings reports, poor corporate outlooks, gloomy economic data, and heightened concerns over the health of many large financial firms plagued the markets in January.

  • Over the past few days, the markets have been weighed down by weak economic data, downbeat corporate earnings forecasts, and concerns that many financial firms may post large quarterly losses in the upcoming weeks. Now at its lowest level since December 1, the Dow is down for its sixth straight session – its longest losing streak since the beginning of October.

  • The financial crisis and market turmoil of 2008 have prevented many historical trends from holding true this year. For instance, while November and December are typically two of the markets’ strongest months of the year, the performance during those months this year has been far from stellar.

  • Since the Lehman bankruptcy on September 15, the S&P 500 has lost one third of its value. During this slide, which has spanned 48 trading sessions, the S&P has fallen on two-thirds of the days.

  • With ongoing earnings and capital concerns, financials have failed to muster up any sustained rally, as they continue to hit lower lows this week.