Stocks staged a comeback late Friday afternoon, with the Dow and S&P 500 bouncing after hitting 12-year lows on a bleak February jobs report and more worries about the bank sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 32 points, or 0.5%. During the session, the Dow briefly touched 6469.95, the lowest intraday level since April 15, 1997. The Dow has fallen in 14 of the last 19 sessions.
The S&P 500 (SPX) index added less than 1 point, or 0.1%. Earlier, the S&P fell to 666.79, its lowest point during a session since Sept. 11, 1996.
The Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 5 points, or 0.4%. The tech-fueled index briefly touched 1268.54, breaking through its November lows, before closing above that level.
Stocks slipped through most of the session, but the losses were pretty slim considering the implications of the grim jobs report. In the last hour of trade, stocks staged a recovery, with the blue chips ending with gains.
There was no way to know it at the time, but that Friday afternoon, the Dow had seen its bottom and took the first step toward one of the most dramatic recoveries in market history. There was no particularly positive news that day and no reason to have “called the lows” right at that moment.
But suddenly, and with no warning, the selling had exhausted itself after a 54% haircut across the entire stock market from the highs in the fall of 2007.
At 21,000 today, the Dow Jones has added over 14,500 points since then, more than tripling from that level eight years ago today.