AP Photos: A look at key moments in Dow history

AP News
Posted: Mar 06, 2013 12:09 AM
AP Photos: A look at key moments in Dow history

The Dow Jones industrial average often makes headlines. But let's not forget everything else that happened as the Dow has twisted and turned — from The Muppets suing Mickey Mouse to John McCain meeting Joe the Plumber.

May 26, 1896: The Dow Jones industrial average debuts with 12 companies, including American Tobacco, Distilling & Cattle Feeding and General Electric. The Confederate Literary Association in Richmond, Va., plans for a reception with Mrs. Jefferson Davis. (Close: 40.94)

Oct. 28, 1929: The Dow loses nearly 13 percent on what comes to be known as Black Monday, the start of the Great Depression. The next day, The New York Times describes an "unexpected torrent" of selling but assures readers that "the storm has now blown itself out." The International Society for the Exploration of the Arctic Regions by Means of Aircraft plans a spring exploration to be led by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen. (Close: 260.64)

March 15, 1933: The Dow has its biggest gain — more than 15 percent. The stock market had been closed after President Franklin D. Roosevelt temporarily shut down U.S. banks, long enough to pass an emergency act in which the Federal Reserve essentially agreed to insure banks' deposits. (Close: 62.10)

Nov. 14, 1972: First close above 1,000. In Hollywood, police arrest four men for allegedly trying to steal a 2,500-pound brass lion from an antiques store. The week before, President Richard Nixon had won re-election by a landslide, beating George McGovern in 49 states. (Close: 1,003.16)

Jan. 8, 1987: First close above 2,000. President Ronald Reagan recovers after prostate surgery. Paul Simon, Whitney Houston and the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew's "Super Bowl Shuffle" get Grammy nominations. (Close: 2,002.25)

Oct. 19, 1987: Biggest percent loss. The Dow plunges nearly 23 percent in the second panic that comes to be known as Black Monday. The next day, Donald Trump says he had already pulled out of the stock market in the previous weeks. "Fatal Attraction" and "The Princess Bride" are two of the top-ranked movies. (Close: 1,738.74)

April 17, 1991: First close above 3,000. Henson Associates, owner of The Muppets, accuses Disney of using its characters without license. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev pleads for aid in a speech to Japan's parliament. (Close: 3,004.46)

April 6, 1998: First close above 9,000, after Citicorp announces its combination with insurer Travelers Group — a deal that ignites the megabank era now blamed in part for the financial crisis. Monica Lewinsky's lawyer says special prosecutor Kenneth Starr should wrap up his investigation of President Bill Clinton and "get a life." (Close: 9.033.22)

March 29, 1999: First close above 10,000. The next day, The Wall Street Journal runs this front-page headline: "If This Is a Bubble, It Sure Is Hard to Pop." Rwanda holds it first free elections since the 1994 genocide. The previous day, Venus and Serena Williams had faced off as finalists in the Lipton Championships. Venus, 18, beat Serena, 17. (Close: 10,006.78)

Sept. 17, 2001: Trading resumes for the first time since the 9/11 attacks. The Dow falls more than 7 percent. Police and firefighters ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, after two minutes of silence. Major League Baseball resumes with Barry Bonds chasing Mark McGwire's home run record. (Close: 8920.70)

Oct. 9, 2007: The Dow hits a record high that lasts until Tuesday. A New Jersey hospital suspends workers for prying into the medical records of George Clooney, who was treated for a motorcycle accident. (Close: 14,164.53)

Sept. 15, 2008: First trading day after the weekend that Lehman Brothers collapsed, Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America, and the government bailed out AIG. The Dow falls more than 4 percent. A federal judge in Montana rejects a plan to allow more than 500 snowmobiles into Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. (Close: 10,917.51)

Oct. 13, 2008: Biggest percent gain since the 1930s, up more than 11 percent, after the government outlines the bank bailout plan that comes to be known as TARP. The win is relative: It follows eight straight days of losses, and the Dow continues falling afterward. The day before, Republican presidential candidate John McCain had encountered Joe the Plumber. (Close: 9,387.61)

March 9, 2009: The Dow falls to its lowest point of the Great Recession. Iceland seizes another struggling major bank. A first-printing copy of the first Harry Potter book sells for more than $19,000. Chuck Norris turns 69 the next day. (Close: 6,547.05)

May 6, 2010: The "flash crash" technical glitch sends stocks swinging. The Dow falls nearly 1,000 points in minutes and closes 347.80 points lower. Picasso's painting "Woman with the Large Hat, Bust" had sold the previous day for $9.3 million at Sotheby's. (Close: 10,520.32)

Aug. 8, 2011: First day of trading after the Standard & Poor's ratings agency marks down its grade on U.S. debt. The Dow loses more than 5 percent. Selena Gomez and then-boyfriend Justin Bieber had been top news at the Teen Choice Awards the previous evening. (Close: 10,809.85)

March 5, 2013: The Dow closes at its highest level, 14,253.77, helped by stimulus money from the Federal Reserve, hope that the housing market is improving and investors' willingness to disregard a potential government shutdown in Washington. Roman Catholic cardinals ponder who to nominate for pope, a month after Benedict XVI announced his resignation. Hugo Chavez, the fiery president of Venezuela, dies after a two-year bout with cancer.


AP researcher Barbara Sambriski contributed.