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Black Monday


Black Monday refers to October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world suffered dramatic declines. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by about 22%, representing the largest one-day percentage decline in recorded stock market history. This event shook investor confidence and caused panic selling worldwide.


The phonetics of the keyword “Black Monday” is: /blæk ˈmʌndeɪ/

Key Takeaways

  1. It was a major global market crash: Black Monday refers to October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by about 22%, which was the biggest one-day percentage decline in recorded stock market history up to that point.
  2. Factors that led to the crash: Several factors contributed to the crash, including rising interest rates, overvalued stocks, and automation through computer trading. Many believe that program trading, a form of automated trading, exacerbated the free fall as systems automatically sold stocks in response to their dropping prices.
  3. Long-lasting effects: The crash led to significant regulatory changes, including “circuit breakers” to prevent panic selling. It raised awareness about the risks of financial system threats and highlighted the need for greater international financial cooperation. Despite the dramatic drop, markets rebounded relatively quickly, with most of the losses recovered by early 1989.


Black Monday is a significant term in business and finance because it represents one of the largest market crashes in history. Specifically, it refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a significant amount of value in a short time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points or 22.6%, marking the largest one-day percentage decline in the DJIA’s history. The reasons behind Black Monday are numerous and complex, including program trading, overvaluation, illiquidity and market psychology. The impact of Black Monday is still being analyzed, and it led to the implementation of safeguards in stock markets, known as circuit breakers, to prevent such drastic falls in the future while marking a major turning point in the evolution of modern financial markets.


Black Monday refers to a specific day in financial history, namely October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world experienced a sharp and dramatic drop in value. The term isn’t used to denote a financial tool, instrument or strategy, but rather to reflect on an event that led to significant market implications. The largest one-day percent decline in recorded stock market history occurred on this day. Market participants, financial analysts and economists use Black Monday as a benchmark for worst-case scenarios in financial modeling and risk assessment.Apart from its historical significance, Black Monday is frequently used as a case study for understanding the dynamics of financial markets, particularly the potential for rapid and severe market downturns. It serves as a stark reminder of the inherent volatility and unpredictability inherent in global financial markets. It’s often cited in discussions around market risk, investment strategies, and regulatory measures. In essence, Black Monday is a symbol of the massive and sudden financial losses that can occur in financial markets, giving rise to changes in trading strategies, portfolio hedging, and risk management practices.


1. Black Monday (October 19, 1987): The most famous Black Monday occurred on October 19, 1987, where markets around the world crashed, shedding a significant amount of value in a very short time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 22.6%, which is the largest one-day drop in history.2. Black Monday (October 28, 1929): This day marked the beginning of the Great Depression. Often overshadowed by the following Black Tuesday, this Monday saw a drop of 13% in the DJIA. This kickstarted the stock market crash of 1929 which had lasting effects on the world economy.3. Black Monday (August 24, 2015): The day is also referred to as China’s Black Monday. On August 24, 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 8.5%, its greatest fall since 2007. This triggered sell-offs globally. The DJIA hit a record intraday low with a near 1,000 point drop before recovering somewhat to close with a loss of over 500 points.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Black Monday?

Black Monday refers to October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed due to panic selling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 22.6%, marking one of the largest one-day market crashes in history.

What caused Black Monday?

While there’s no single cause attributed to Black Monday, factors like U.S.-Iran conflict, economic indicators showing a slowdown, and computerized trading are often cited as triggering the crash.

Were there any warning signs before Black Monday?

There were a few warning signs like high market valuations, a five-year bull market, and increasing interest rates. However, the severity of the crash was unexpected.

What were the global effects of Black Monday?

Black Monday had significant global impacts with major stock markets worldwide experiencing steep declines. Investors worldwide lost substantial amounts.

How did Black Monday affect the economy of the United States?

While the immediate impact was a shock to the financial markets, it did not lead to an economic recession in the U.S. The economy continued to grow and the markets recovered within two years.

How did the market recover after Black Monday?

With interventions from the Federal Reserve and other global central banks, the markets were stabilized. By late 1989, the Dow had regained its pre-crash levels.

Did Black Monday lead to any changes in trading regulations?

Yes, Black Monday led to the implementation of circuit breakers in stock markets which halt trading for a certain period of time following a significant decline to prevent panic selling.

Can another Black Monday happen again?

While it’s impossible to predict with certainty, safeguards like circuit breakers and other regulatory measures have been put in place to prevent a similar crash. However, large market declines can still occur.

What lessons were learned from Black Monday?

Black Monday taught investors about the risks of market volatility, the importance of diversification, and the reality that even bull markets can experience sudden and significant drops.

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