Stock Market Has Fallen Steadily Since Bailout Bill Signed
Monday, October 27, 2008
By Matt Cover
The U.S. stock market has lost 1,417 points–a decline of nearly $3 trillion in value–since President Bush signed into law a $700-billion financial industry bailout bill that was supported by both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
Last week, stock markets closed at a loss for the third straight week since the bailout’s enactment.
When Bush signed the bill Oct. 3, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Composite Index was valued at $14.3 trillion, closing at 7,088 points. The Composite Index, unlike the Dow Jones Index, is a look at how all stocks in the market are faring.
Over the last 14 trading days, the market has lost 1,417 points, worth nearly $2.9 trillion in value–roughly $214 billion per day. As of Thursday, Oct. 23, the market had fallen to 5,671 points, worth $11.4 trillion. By the close of the market on Friday, the index had fallen another 244 points, to 5,427–with the new estimate of total value not yet available.
The most dramatic sell-off came in the week immediately following the bailout, with the market losing over $2 trillion in value.
In the month preceding the bailout’s enactment, the stock market declined from a level of 8,269 points, worth a total $16.8 trillion, down to 7,155 points, worth $14.5 trillion–a decline of 1,114 points, or approximately $2.3 trillion in value.
The market opened in January at 9,647 points–worth $19.7 trillion.
The latest big sell-off has occurred over 15 trading days, as opposed to the 21-day trading period in September. Trading occurs Monday through Friday, during which the stock market is open for business, exclusive of holidays.
While day-to-day action has been erratic, often oscillating by hundreds of billions of dollars, the market has been steadily trending downward ever since the bailout became law.
The dramatic sell-off has not been confined to the financial sector. Stocks in the energy, and healthcare sectors have also seen sharp declines in value since the bailout’s approval.
Stocks in the energy sector have lost 2,026 points, declining by $397 billion dollars, in the 14 trading days since the bailout became effective, according to the NYSE, which measures the energy sector in terms of the total number of energy companies publicly traded in the U.S. The energy sector, long buoyed by record oil prices, fell from $2.1 trillion when the bailout was signed to $1.7 trillion as of Thursday.
The health care sector has lost $207 billion, 773 points, following the bailout–falling from $1.6 trillion in value to $1.4 trillion by Thursday. The health care sector is the total of all health-related companies being traded on the Exchange.
The financial sector, which Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson indicated was intended to be the primary beneficiary of the $700 billion package, has suffered the greatest losses of the three major sectors tracked by the NYSE. Since Oct. 3, financial sector stocks have lost nearly 1,500 points–a decline of $843 billion in value.
Prior to the bill becoming law, stocks in the financial sector were worth $3.2 trillion. As of Thursday, financial stocks were worth $2.4 trillion.