Two out of 500 stocks up? Ouch

Aaron Pressman

I just did a quick run through of all 500 stocks in the S&P 500 and only two are in the green: Radioshack (Symbol:RSH) and Questar (STR), a natural gas producer. That is some widespread carnage. Radioshack reported a 64% earnings rise, signalling the company's turn-around may finally have arrived. Questar last night reported good drilling results from a Wyoming well. As for everybody else, down they go.

The good folks over at Birinyi Associate's Ticker Sense blog have some useful context. The last time 498 of the S&P 500's stocks ended the day down was July 6, 2001 and there have been 12 instances of more than 450 stocks down since 1996.

Quick update: It's official at the close - 2 out of 500. The 3.5% drop in the S&P 500 is the worst one-day loss since March 2003, Bloomberg reports. March 24, 2003 to be precise, when the index dropped from around 896 to 864. By April 22, the S&P had made back the loss and has yet to return to that low. Not that I'm qualified to give advice, but anybody recall what the market has done in the four years since March 2003?

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