One Year Ago Today the S&P 500 Fell 12 Percent

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On March 16, 2020, the S&P 500 closed down 12 percent marking its third-biggest percentage loss ever.

This was the day the world realized COVID was going to shutter the global economy and that this virus would be a huge problem. Looking back on the day, it started with the S&P 500 falling almost 7 percent following the opening bell triggering a market circuit breaker that halted trading for 15 minutes. This was the third time a circuit breaker had been triggered that week, with the same occurrences on March 9 and 12.

Other major indexes also fell.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.9 percent, its second-largest percentage loss in the post-WWII era, following the infamous Black Monday 22.6 percent decline.
  • The Nasdaq fell 12 percent, marking its largest percentage drop in history.

It would be another week before the S&P 500 would bottom on March 23. From Feb 19, 2020 highs to the March 23, 2020 bottom, the S&P 500 fell 34 percent.

It did not take long for markets to recover. By August, the S&P 500 was near its February high. Currently, on March 16, 2021, the S&P 500 is up 77 percent from its bottom on March 23, 2020.

Two pieces of Warren Buffett's famous advice come to mind.

  1. Buy the dip
  2. Don't bet against the US

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Economics, Finance and Investing

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