This Day In Market History: Dow Hits 'Rich Man Panic' Low Of 1903

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Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

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What Happened? On this day in 1903, The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its low point for the bear market known as the “Rich Man’s Panic.”

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Where The Market Was: The Dow finished the day at 42.15. The Rich Man’s Panic predated the S&P 500.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1903, the first silent film, “The Great Train Robbery,” debuts. Orville and Wilbur Wright complete their historic first airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, NC. A new Waverly Runabout electric automobile cost $350.

Rich Man’s Panic: The Rich Man’s panic began in 1901 when stock markets dropped following the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley, who died on Sept. 14. Interest rates were high, the number of stock offerings were high and new President Theodore Roosevelt was aggressively attempting to break up large trust companies.

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At the time, stocks were held by primarily wealthy Americans, which led to the sell-off being known as the Rich Man’s Panic.

From its 1901 peak to its bottom on Nov. 9, 1903, the Dow dropped 46%.

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) was among the hardest hit, falling from $55 to $10. U.S. Rubber shares dropped from $44 to $8, while shares of American Can fell 90%.

While November marked the bottom for the Dow, the index wouldn’t make it back to its 1901 highs again until 1905.

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