Photo: Markus Spiske (Unsplash)

This Week in Trading History: The Dow Jones is Published

This week in trading history sees the Americans launch a decade-long Space Race, the birth of the daily newspaper, and the Dow Jones is published for the first time...

24th May

The Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic for the first time on this day. The bridge took 14 years to build and cost $15m, in 2020 that would be the equivalent to more that $380m.

25th May

Due to a nationwide railroad strike on the 23rd of May, the New York Stock Exchange closed on this day. This was part of the wave of post-war strikes from 1945-1946, more than 5 million workers were involved, and the economy came to a standstill.

JFK said America was off to the moon. President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the U.S. stating their plans to be the first to reach the moon, as well as asking congress for $531m to assist their endeavours. However, the Americans had their doubts that they would win this space race and the market reflected this, over the next year stock would decline by the 23%. It wasn’t until 1969 that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

26th May

The Dow Jones was published for the first time by two financial reporters, Charles Dow and Edward Jones. The index contained 12 of the most powerful companies in the U.S. in each sector including General Electric, Laclede Gas Light Company, Tennessee Coal and the American Sugar Company.

Petrol rationing comes to an end in Great Britain. Due to World War 2 the British people had used petrol rationing books for 11 years until finally it was abolished.

27th May

The 319-metre high Chrysler Building opened today in 1930. At the time the New York landmark was the tallest building in the world before being surpassed by the Empire State Building a year later. Over the years the iconic skyscraper has housed companies including Texaco, Time Inc and - yep, you guessed it - Chrysler.

28th May

The San Francisco stock exchange reopened after being closed due to the earthquake that devastated San Francisco on 18th of April. 80% of the city was destroyed and 3,000 died.

The Dow fell 5.71% after JFK quarrelled with the steel industry. Kennedy demanded that steel companies reduce their price increase and threatened to cancel business with any companies that refused to comply. This drop in the Dow is referred to as the “Kennedy Slide” … sounds more like a bad 00’s dance move.

This day marks one of the worst deals in American history. Time Warner split from AOL on this day after its merger eight years earlier. At the time of the merge AOL had a market cap of $192bn after the split AOL had a market cap of $3.3bn, a drop of more than 97%.

29th May

The Dow Jones finally hit a post war high of 212.50. The Dow suffered from a decline in government spending and a suspected imminent recession.
After the Dow fell 5.71% the day before, on this day the Dow closed up 4.7%. This time was full of uncertainty regarding the economy and JFK’s conflict with the steel industry only added fuel to the fire.

30th May

The US' first daily newspaper was published by Philadelphia's Benjamin Towne. The Pennsylvania Evening Post may only have been short-lived but it began a revolution in media. Today there are over 1,200 daily newspapers in America, following a digital in recent years, down from a peak of 1,748 papers in 1970.

31st May

The price of Gold rose caused a massive surge of mining companies to make new exploration efforts in states such as California and Nevada. Nevada is still the home of the largest gold mines in the US.