The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted near-record drops Monday, dropping more than 800 points by mid-afternoon as a global selloff in stocks spread from Asia through Europe and onto Wall Street. The Dow was off nearly 7% at 2:42 p.m., below 10,000 for the first time in five years, but it recovered 500 of those points by market close on rumors that central banks around the world might enact a globally coordinated cut in benchmark interest rates.
By the end of the trading day, the Dow was down 365.90 points, or 3.54%, at . Other measures were off as well, with the S&P having been down as much as 7.76% during the day but closing at 1056.85, down 3.86%, and the Nasdaq, off 8.3% at one point, closing at 1862.96, down 4.34%. Shares of tech bellwethers such as Microsoft, E-Bay and Intel were at prices Monday not seen since 1998.
Builder stocks were caught in the downdraft but recovered by market close, with losses ranging from a 16.9% drop in Hovnanian shares (NYSE:HOV) to $6.23 and to a 2.5% drop in best-in-class NVR to $560.01. Between 2 and 3 p.m., a half dozen builder stocks were down by double-digit percentages before rebounding.
The exchange-traded builder funds, ITB (NYSE ARCA) and XHB (AMEX) were down 5.45% and 6.2%, respectively, after having been down twice that percentage earlier.
The markets were reacting to a lack of confidence in credit markets, which remained frozen Monday.