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A History of Autumn Declines In the Dow Industrials from 1997 to 2005

The Dow Industrials have declined sharply every Autumn for the past nine years in a row, from 1997 through 2005, reflecting an interesting market psychology, and it is setting up to do so again in 2006.

Five of the nine declines were stock market crashes, with declines greater than 15 percent, and a sixth was nearly a crash, plunging 13.2 percent! The smallest decline was still a significant 4.7 percent.

The declines typically started in the July/August period and lasted into the September/October period. Eight of the nine were declining over the autumn equinox, and all nine declined during the month of September.

Here's the data:

1997: A stock market crash that began on August 7th at 8,340.14 and fell for 57 days to a low of 6,936.45 on October 28th, a 1,403.69 drop, or 16.8 percent.

1998: A stock market crash that began on July 17th at 9,412.64 and fell for 32 trading days to a low of 7,329.70 on September 1st, a 2,032.94 plunge, or 21.6 percent. It hung around that low through October 8th, hitting a bottom that day at 7,399.78.

1999: A near-crash that began on August 25th at 11,428.94 and lasted through October 15th when it fell to 9,911.42, 36 trading days, a 13.2 percent sell-off.

2000: Another stock market crash, this one commencing September 6th at 11,401.19 and lasting until October 18th's 9,656.12 bottom, a 30 trading day plunge that saw prices fall 1,745.07 points, or 15.3 percent.

2001: Again, a stock market crash. It began on August 27th at 10,441.37 and lasted through September 21st, bottoming at 8,062.34, a 2,379.03, 22.7 percent bloodbath that took only 14 trading days.

2002: Again, the sixth stock market crash in a row if you consider the 13.2 percent 1999 wipeout a crash. It started innocently enough on August 22nd, at 9,077.01, and lasted until October 10th at 7,197.49. When the carnage was over, the losses were 1,879.52 points, or 20.7 percent.

2003: Even in 2003, when a glorious rally was in full swing, the Dow paused to follow tradition by dropping a measurable 4.7 percent, or 455.61 points from 9,686.08 on September 19th to 9,230.47 on September 30th.

2004: A significant 6.2 percent drop followed suit, markets in the tank from September 13th's 10,348.39 high to October 25th's 9,708.40 low, a 639.99 sell-off.

2005: One of the milder declines, we still saw a quite tradable and profitable 5.1 percent decline that started from September 12th's intraday high of 10,701.81 and lasted through October 13th, 2005's 10,156.46 low, a 545.35 point drop. Our key trend-finder indicators should generate new "sells" to signal 2006's decline.

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"They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.

Psalm 107:27,28

 

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