On September 15, 2008, a financial crisis became evident when Lehman Brothers filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The DJIA lost more than 500 points for only the sixth time in history, returning to its mid-July lows below the 11,000 level. A series of bailout packages, including the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, proposed and implemented by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury, as well as FDIC-sponsored bank mergers, did not prevent further volatility. September 29 brought a decline of 777.68 points (6.98%), the largest one day point loss, followed on September 30 by a rebound of 485.21 points (4.68%), the third largest one-day point gain in history. Further losses on October 6 (including a record 800-point intraday tumble) and October 7 brought the Dow to five-year lows below the 9,500 point level, representing a 52-week loss of one-third from its record high.
As of October 7, 2008 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508.39, or 5.1 percent, to 9,447.11, giving it a 29 percent retreat in 2008 that would also be the worst in 71 years. The index has shed more than 1,400 points, or nearly 13 percent of its value, in the past five sessions. A little historical factoid: 508 points is how much the Dow lost on Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987. Of course the Dow was a lot lower then, and that point value accounted for more than 20 percent of the Dow's value. Imagine that: Falling into a bear market in one day. And, if you recall, there was no big catalyst that caused that one either — it was all fear.