25 Years After The 1987 Crash, How Different The DJIA Is (AA, AXP, BA, KO, DD, XOM, GE, IBM, MMM, MCD, MRK, PG, UTX, T)

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It was twenty-five years ago today that the 1987 stock market crash came. Fortunes were lost on that day, but fortunes were also made in the aftermath. The NYSE was said to be capable of trading around 400 million shares in a day, but more than 600 million shares traded that day. While many things have changed since then, it is pretty amazing to consider the evolution of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. If you go back to October 1987, it turns out that only 13 of the 30 current DJIA components were actually in the DJIA back then. To show just how different the index is, two of these 13 components had only been added into the DJIA earlier that same year.

24/7 Wall St. has looked back over the DJIA components that are still in the index to do a then and now comparison. We have included historical data as well. The market of 1987 seems like a different world compared to today. You will notice that many unadjusted closing prices were at whole numbers and that is because back then the stocks on the big board traded in “eighths” rather than in pennies… 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and on. It sounds antiquated now.

If you go back to 1987, that crash was called Black Monday. The DJIA was “the market” back then rather than traders now looking at the S&P 500 Index either as an equal or more likely as a superior index. That 508 point drop on Black Monday took the DJIA down to 1,738.74 and the loss in one day was about 22.6%. Today the DJIA is above 13,400.

Be advised that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has been omitted even though it is a DJIA component again. AT&T was broken up as a monopoly in the 1980s and then was cobbled back together via acquisitions and went back into the DJIA in the late 1990s as SBC Communications before it acquired the old AT&T and took the name back to AT&T.

Our equal-weight projection for the DJIA was that the DJIA would peak at 13,678 in 2012. So far that peak has been 13,661… Here is the 24/7 Wall St. review of the DJIA components of 1987 which are still DJIA components as of today.