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2011: A Year of Firsts Remembered

- 2011-12-27T21:23:41Z

Photograph by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

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Stocks Gone Wild

Wall Street's wildest week began late Friday, Aug. 5, when Standard & Poor's cut the U.S. AAA credit rating. Suddenly Washington's disarray threatened a new economic slowdown; when trading resumed Monday, investors responded to each economic report or whispered rumor as if they had been Tasered. For four days, the S&P 500 swung between unprecedented losses and gains of 4 percent or more, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose or fell at least 400 points. Fed vow of zero rates? Risk on. Euro doubts? Risk off. Everyone was too numb to notice that by week's end the S&P was down just 20 points.