By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
It has been an ugly week for bulls on Wall Street, that much is certain.
However, the depth of the slide for stocks this week can perhaps best be illustrated by the severity of the weekly skid for the 124-year-old Dow Jones Industrial Average. /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.62% , with stock markets relinquishing gains from earlier in the year on the back of uncertainty over the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fears sparked by the outbreak of the infectious disease that originated in Wuhan, China late last year, is putting one of the oldest stock-market gauges on pace for its worst weekly skids on record.
At last check, the decline would rank within the top 5 for the Dow’s steepest weekly selloffs, with a drop of 13.56%, according to FactSet data. The worst week for the Dow was the 18.15% drop during the period ended Oct. 10, 2008, according to Dow Jones Market Data and data from FactSet.
|Periods of Dow’s worst weeks (week ended)||Weekly % Change|
|1) Oct. 10, 2008||-18.15|
|2) July 21, 1933||-15.55|
|3) Sept. 21, 2001||-14.26|
|4) May 17, 1940||-14.21|
|5) Feb. 28, 2020||-13.56|
|6) Nov. 8, 1929||-13.52|
|7) Oct. 23, 1987||-13.17|
|8) April 8, 1932||-12.86|
|9) Oct. 7, 1932||-12.42|
|10) Sept. 16, 1932||-11.93|
|11) Oct. 2, 1931||11.82|
|12) Dec. 22, 1899||-11.36|
|13) Nov.19, 1937||-11.24|
|14) June 20, 1930||-11.12|
|15)May 27, 1932||-10.95|
|Source: Dow Jones Market Data|
Thursday’s slide represents the Dow’s quickest decline into correction from a record close, since the nine trading sessions ended Feb. 8, 2018.
It also would rank as one of the worst weeks for the other benchmarks too. With the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.36% and the Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.35% headed for their worst weeks since the 2008 financial crisis, when markets were rocked by the creation of complex mortgage securities that spread across the globe.
This time the spread of the new coronavirus, a family of viruses similar to SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, has injected a level of complexity into markets that is unsettling what had been predominantly bullish sentiment on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 index’s 11.7% weekly decline also puts it at among the 10 worst weekly slumps for the index thus far.
The decline from its record high also ranks as its fastest such reversal on record for the S&P 500, Deutsche Bank analysts point out.
Source: Deutsche Bank
Here’s the weekly performance for the benchmark’s 11 sectors, in the attached chart, as of Thursday’s close:
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite is on pace for a weekly decline off 10.47%, which would rank this week’s drop as the 8th worst of its nearly 50-year history, with a decline of 25.3% ended April 13, 2000, representing its worst weekly skid.
The viral outbreak has analysts at Goldman Sachs slashing their outlook for S&P 500 corporate earnings in 2020, with the investment bank now forecasting “no earnings growth” this year, as fears over the potential negative impacts of the coronavirus outbreak intensifies.
To be sure, the best course of action for investors may be to just bide their time and consult their financial advisers, with the knowledge that markets tend to go up over long periods.
Important read : Coronavirus case tally: 82,550 cases, 2,810 deaths