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    The Dow just dropped into a Bear Market — How long will the downturns last

    The bullish era ended for the stock market and the beginning of a new phase of a bear market, after a sharp drop for risk assets on Wednesday, pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average into bear-market territory for the first time in more than a decade.

    The U.S. equity indexes on Wednesday mostly resumed a downtrend that saw all three major U.S. equity gauges touch bear-market territory. The decline was at least 20% from the recent peak. The declines deepened after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19, the infectious disease that was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December, a pandemic.

    The illness has infected more than 124,000 people and claimed nearly 4,600 lives worldwide, with market experts fearing that pandemic could disrupt global supply chains and drive the global economy into recession.

    The Dow DJIA, -5.85%, composed of 30 blue-chip companies were pulled lower by a powerful decline of 18% in shares of component Boeing Co. BA, -18.15%, which helped drive the price-weighted index into a bear market. The S&P 500 SPX, -4.88% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -4.70% narrowly missed ending at those levels.On Wednesday, the Dow plunged 1,464.94 points, or 5.9%, to settle at 23,553.22, while the S&P 500 fell 4.9%, to 2,741.38, missing a bear-market at or below 2,708.92, while the Nasdaq tumbled 4.7%, to end at 7,952.05, avoiding its bear level at 7,853.74.

    A bear market is widely defined as a drop of 20% from a recent peak. Stocks dropped into correction mode — defined as a pullback of 10% — late last month as fears over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak began to rise.

    On average, a bear market for the Dow lasts 206 trading days, while the average bear period for the S&P 500 is about 146 days, according to data from Dow Jones Market Data. The Dow is currently off 20.3% from its Feb. 12 record, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are 19% from their Feb. 19 peaks.

    The move for the Dow also represents the blue-chip index’s fastest move from a record high to a bear market since 1931 — 19 days. In November 1931, as the Great Depression was enveloping the U.S., the Dow took a brisk 15 days from a record to a drop of at least 20%.

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