S&P 500 Posts Fastest 30% Decline Ever, Faster Than During Great Depression

  • The S&P 500 has broken the record for fastest 30% decline.
  • The index fell 30% over 22 days, the shortest duration on record.
  • The previous fastest 30% decline was in 1934 during the Great Depression.

It’s rough out there for investors. The major indexes continue to experience record volatility triggered by the international Covid-19 virus pandemic.

Stocks have sold off in a big way. In the chaos, the S&P 500 has broken the record for fastest 30% decline ever. The index fell over 30% over the course of 22 days. The previous record was set in 1934 during the Great Depression when the index fell over 30% in 23 days.

Fastest S&P 500 Falls over 30%

YearNumber of Days to 30% Drop
202022
193423
193124
192931
198738
Source: BofA Global Research

The second, third, and fourth fastest drops happened during the Great Depression, while the fifth fastest dropped happened in 1987.

The S&P 500’s most recent high was set on Feb. 19, 2020. As of March 23rd, the index had fallen 32% below the high. The index is currently officially in ‘bear market’ territory. Experts note that the current trend indicates investors are pricing in a recession. Further losses could push the index to levels which indicate investors would be expecting a full on depression.

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