Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Investors lose a trillion dollars in one day: Stock market madness continues

Investors lost a trillion dollars in the stock market Monday as the debt crisis in Europe, lackluster economic news and a downgrade to the U.S. credit rating spark fears of a double-dip recession.

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, the broadest index of U.S. stocks, lost 891.93 points, or just over 7%, Monday. This represents a paper loss for the day of approximately $1.0 trillion.

Monday is the largest percentage drop for the Index since December 1, 2008 when it fell over 9%.

Since July 22, when Republicans abandoned debt negotiations with the White House for the third time that month, the index has lost $2.9 trillion in value.

Cynical investors, which could include any of the millions of Americans with pension plans, mutual funds or other retirement accounts, might be tempted to blame squabbling politicians in Washington for much of their ill fate. But experts say it's more complicated than that. (more)