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Black Monday 1987 in Numbers

Posted: 18th October 2017 by James Gardner
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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the day when the financial bubble, that resulted in the Dow Jones reaching a record peak of 2722 in August, burst in spectacular fashion.

Following a fraught Friday on the New York Stock Exchange where the DJIA dropped sharply, the opening bell on 19th October started a selling onslaught and panic on the floor that hasn't been seen since. We take a look back at Black Monday 1987 in numbers.

Black Monday In Numbers

"It was a frightening week, more frightening than any week in '08"  - Jim Chanos

19th October 1987 – The date of Black Monday.

9am – The sounding of the opening bell that began the selling that almost crashed the entire American financial system.

250 points – Points drop on the Dow Jones by 12:30pm.

508.32 points – Number the DJIA fell on 19th October 1987, it was at the time the largest drop Wall Street had seen.

4x – The amount the points drop on 19th October was bigger than the previous record.

22.76% - One Day Percentage Loss on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). A record that still stands today.

1987BlackMondayCrash Dow Jones Industrial Average Graph

Dow Jones Industrial Average from January - December 1987

$500 Billion – Amount of capital lost on 19th October 1987.

33% - Drop in S&P Futures on Black Monday.

604.33 million shares – Volume of shares on the New York Stock Exchange. A record at the time.

$1 Billion dollars – Value of Sell Orders reached by 10am on 19th October.

112 million – Shares lost by the Designated Order Turnaround System at NYSE as the computers buckled under the weight of sell orders.

648 - Days it took for the markets to recover.

$18.8 Billion - Market Value Lost By IBM on Black Monday. It was valued at around $62 Billion before Monday 19th October.



"Wall Street was uniformly unprepared for this magnitude of drop" - Paul Tudor Jones, October 19th 1987

23pc - Drop on the FTSE 100 on Black Monday and Tuesday combined. The biggest ever in history and a figure that has never been seen since.

60% - Percentage drop of the New Zealand Stock Market after Black Monday.

$6.7 Billion - Total in paper losses on AT&T Shares.

30.9% - Amount of American Express shares were reduced by during the trading day.


Traders react after one of the worst days the New York Stock Exchange has ever seen.

33 – Age of Paul Tudor Jones in 1987, when he and his colleague Peter Borish foresaw Black Monday.

$100 Million -  Amount Paul Tudor Jones made by shorting the market and ensured his legacy on Wall Street.

$1 Billion – Amount Sam Walton, reportedly America’s Wealthiest Man lost on the day.  ''It was paper when we started, and it's paper afterward.'' He said after the days trading.

$500 Million - Reported figure that Walton's Wal-Mart company value lost on Black Monday.

40% - Reduction in restaurant bookings and turnover in local businesses used by Wall Street Traders on 19th October.

$500 Million -Reported value of holdings in Allegis, Holiday, Bally and various other companies sold by future President Donald Trump in August that ensured he avoided any losses and became one of the few to make money on Black Monday.

16 hours – The time it took after the Dow Jones Closed on Black Monday for the US Federal Reserve to release a statement saying that it “affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system”

10 – Number of the largest banks who extended credit to traders following the Federal Reserve statement.


Traders stand bewildered after the New York Stock Exchange closed on Black Monday

2,078 – Stocks Traded on the board at the NYSE on Black Monday.

2,038 - Stocks Traded on the board at the NYSE that made a loss.

 $470 – Amount Gold price per ounce increased (from $15.50) as one of the only performing stocks.

$1 Trillion – Total loss of wealth by the close of play.

$10,000 – Cash withdrawn late on 19th October from his Bank by Allan Rogers, head of government bond trading at Banker’s Trust, and hid in his loft because he was so scared the whole banking system was going down.

7% - Percentage of stocks that didn’t even open the following morning.

126 points – Rise in DJIA in the opening minutes of Tuesday 20th trading following Federal Reserve stop-gap measures.

10:00am – The rally is over and the Dow Begins to plummet once more.

11:28am – Time the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ceases trading on the S&P contract.


The crash was splashed all over the world news following a devastating day for traders.

11:15am – Time on Tuesday 20th October traders and banks like Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Salomon requested John Phelan CEO of the NYSE perform a total shutdown due to lack of buyers.

285 – Price paid by Blair Hull on MMI Futures in Chicago sparking the rally that some say prevented a full blown crash.

62% - Amount made by Tudor Investment Corp. in October.

102.27 – Dow Jones Industrial Average gain on the day for Tuesday 20th October.

23000 - Number hit by the Dow Jones on October 18th 2017, almost 30 years on from Black Monday sparking fears another equity bubble may be about to burst.


Thanks to some quick responses from the Federal Reserve and a surprise market rally, the Dow Jones rallied enough to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression that had followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929 that bore many similarities to Black Monday in 1987.

The flash crash also led to several huge changes on Wall Street including a kill-switch on trading the S&P if it drops below 7% and an overhaul of the computer systems that had caused so many issues on that fateful day to ensure that the confusion and inability to trade would no longer be an issue. And while there have been monumental crashes on trading floors across the world, none seemed to repeat the speed and fear that occurred on the New York Stock Exchange on the 19th October 1987.

Rumour and conjecture abound in the financial world that lessons may in fact not have been learned, and that we may be in line for another Black Monday, especially given the DJIA topping the 23000 figure just today.  Analysts remain nervous, citing an 8-year bull market and reports of a hugely over-inflated US stock market.  One thing is for certain, no one at the New York Stock Exchange will want to see the markets offer up any sort of anniversary.


All Photos: Roger Hsu
Sources: Bloomberg, NY Times, Guardian, Reuters, Washington Post

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