October 4th, 2011
05:49 AM GMT
(CNN) – As chill autumn winds curl down Wall Street, the ghosts of Octobers past haunt global investors who stare in fright at the events unfolding in Europe; a bad September for most portfolios threatens to turn into an even worse October.
As CNNMoney writes, stocks have tumbled into the fourth quarter with the first day of trade on Monday. The ill wind followed the sun, with markets finishing down in a sell-off that stretched from Hong Kong to New York. The swoon began in Asia, where the Hang Seng index closed down about 4.4%, with heavy losses of some big Chinese banks signaling to investors that Beijing will not buoy global markets. If that didn’t scare investors, news that troubled Greece fell short of budget deficit targets did.
But the wild machinations of the past several months pale compared to the market drops that have earned October its Halloween reputation on Wall Street:
October 28-29, 1929 – Index drops 12.82% and 11.72%, respectively
October 26, 1987 – 8% drop
October 15, 2008 – 8% drop
October 18, 1937 – 7.75% drop
All told, eight of the 20 worst one-day falls on Wall Street happened in October.
Despite these plummets, October statistically isn’t the worst month for stocks – September is. That’s good news for those who saw their investments pounded the past 30 days, which have left global stocks closing out the worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis. The bad news: Few think the troubles in Greece are going to end well, only degrees of bad and less bad for global investors.
Martin Hutchinson and Rob Cox, writing for Breakingviews, go even further saying there are signs of a market crash ahead, if not a recession.
The attic chains are rattling, and there’s something bumping around the dark basement of world markets. Only question is whether the equity spirits will jump out and say: Boo!