By Mark Decambre of Market Watch
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average confronts its ugliest December loss since 1931, the time of the Great Depression, there is another notable way to put the severity of this persistent bout of losses into historical context.
In market lore, October of 1987 is a period that remains infamous. On Oct. 19, the Dow sank 22.6% in a single session, marking its steepest percentage drop ever, with trading during that period under pressure all month until the final crash.
Today, stocks extended withering losses that have been driven by a litany of investor concerns, cropping up after Wall Street enjoyed one of its best years in recent memory in 2017. Those fears include the Federal Reserve’s pace of interest-rate increases, the health of the U.S. economy, a looming government shutdown, trade-war jitters and an international economic landscape that shows signs of stalling.