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This Week in Trading History: Man Reaches the Moon & Facebook Plummets

This week in trading history we see the first footsteps on the moon and Facebook's biggest stock drop in the company’s history. We also see President Nixon hand over some incriminating tapes, and the birth of a royal...

20th July

Following Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collin's successful mission to the moon aboard Apollo 11, the U.S. stock market closed the following day to honour the historic achievement.


“The Dark Knight”, the second movie in the Batman trilogy, opened and broke new record as the biggest opening weekend in the U.S. The movie made around $155.4m, which overtook the previous record holder, Spider-Man 3, in 2007. However, since 2008 the record has been obliterated by the opening weekend of Avengers: Endgame, which took in a whopping $357.1bn

21st July

As a celebration of 40 years of Ferrari production, Enzo Ferrari unveiled the newest Ferrari F40 at his factory in Maranello Italy. The F40 was the fastest car ever built at this time and was retailed for $400,000.

Telecommunications company, WorldCom Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection after they disclosed that they had been inflating their profits by nearly $4bn to hide poor earnings and present themselves as financially profitable. The company, renamed MCR Inc, became defunct in 2006.

22nd July

Bill Gates and Paul Allen signed a software licensing agreement with MITS that allowed them exclusive access to their BASIC software. Microsoft would earn $30 for each 4K version of BASIC licensed on MITS hardware, $35 for each 8K version, and $60 for each “extended” version. The deal maximised Microsoft’s revenue from the agreement by $180,000.

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy, Prince George, and the UK went nuts…

23rd July

Ford sold their first version car, the Ford Model A, for $850 to a dentist from Chicago. The Ford company had started out with $28,000 and at the time of this sale was down to their last $200. By the end of the year Ford was back up to $37,000 in profits.

Austria sent an ultimatum to Serbia to punish and suppress those responsible for the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination or be invaded. The markets remained relatively stable during the unrest until four days later when Servia invaded, and the U.S. stock market dropped 3.5%.


Tiger Woods became the youngest player, at the age of 24, to win a career Grand Slam after winning the British Open at St Andrews in Scotland.

Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment from alcohol poisoning.

24th July

The 53-day steel worker strike in the U.S. came to end. The strike caused increased volatility within the U.S steel industry stocks, shares fell 10-15% and took till the end of the year to return to where they were at the beginning of the strike.

The U.S Supreme court ruled that President Nixon must had over the Watergate tapes as the evidence against him had built up. Two weeks later, Nixon resigned. During his investigation the U.S. stock market dropped as much as 40%.

25th July

The Italian debt crisis hit an all-time high and Italy’s credit rating was downgraded. However, Greece was suffering the worst during the European debt crisis. The U.S. markets dropped 10% over the prior month over the fears that Italy would leave the EU. This day marked the lows of the market for the year.

Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.83bn. Verizon had also bought AOL in a new online business venture they named Oath. However, two years later the value of Oath deemed it almost worthless and the purchase brought Yahoo to an end.

26th July

Austrian Nazis killed the Austrian chancellor and took members of the cabinet hostage. Investors feared that another world war was looming as Italy and Germany both armoured up. U.S stock markets dropped 6.6% on this day, despite gradual recovery from the lows of the Great Depression two years prior.

Facebook experienced the largest single day decline in the company’s history. Shares fell 18% after it was reported that they didn’t meet their quarterly revenue quota. This drop knocked $119bn off their $630bn market cap. In July 2020, Facebook's market cap was $683.95bn, having only regained these losses in January 2020.