Wall Street Suffered Its Worst Week Since the Financial Crisis

The government shutdown won’t help.

Wang Ying/Zumapress

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

This week marked the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s crowning legislative achievement: a $1.5 trillion tax cut, supported by a GOP Congress that assured the American people the overhaul would boost economic growth to record levels.

Instead, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s first birthday was marked by turmoil on Wall Street as stocks tumbled, ushering in the worst week for the markets since the Great Recession began in 2008.

On Thursday, more than 3,000 stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange hit their lowest values in a year—the most in a single day since October 2008, when the stock market crashed, ushering in the financial crisis. On Friday, the Nasdaq sank to a 15-month low, the S&P 500 to its lowest level since August 2017, and the Dow to its lowest since October 2017. By the end of the week, stocks had lost about $2.05 trillion in value.

The New York Times explained that among these plummeting numbers was an ominous milestone. The Nasdaq, which is filled with tech companies like Facebook and Google, hit what’s called a “bear market,” when stock prices see a downturn of 20 percent or more within a two-month timeframe. As the Times explained:

Bear markets in stocks are rare but have the power to spread gloom through the economy. In the last 20 years, there have been only two—one that began with the financial crisis in 2007, and the other that started with the dot-com bust in 2000.

With a partial government shutdown in effect since late Friday night, political instability is likely to continue fueling worries on Wall Street. “It’s harder than ever for the market to know where the right places even just to hide in 2019 might be,” Mark Kelly, chief executive of Olivetree, a London-based brokerage firm and consultancy, told the Financial Times. “It has been the political unpredictability in recent months and years that led us to where we now are.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate