Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Twelve years of stock market gains evaporate

Down 50% since October, 2007:

The credit crisis and recession have slashed more than half the (Dow Jones Industrial) average’s value since it hit a record high over 14,000 in October 2007. And now many investors fear the market could take a long time to regain the lost 7,000.

“As bad as things are, they can still get worse, and get a lot worse,” said Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist for Bell Curve Trading. Strazzullo said he believes there’s a significant chance the S&P 500 and the Dow will fall back to their 1995 levels of 500 and 5,000, respectively.

The “game-changer,” he said, will be the housing market and whether it can stabilize. A recovery will also require signs of health among financial companies, but so far in 2009, it is clear that banks and insurance companies’ losses are multiplying despite hundreds of billions of dollars in government help.

Since posting this, our little family has secured new corporate jobs and stabilized our incomes, health insurance, and the rebirth of a retirement account. Considering all that we lost, it's nice at least to be back on track. The rest of the country? Not so much.

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