Black Thursday

Definition

The term Black Thursday refers to October 24, 1929, which marked the beginning of the Stock Market Crash of 1929.  On Black Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average would fall 33 points, which was approximately 9% of its value.

Explanation

On October 24, 1929, also known as Black Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) would decline 33 points, or lose 9% of its value, in just a single day.  At the time, the volume on the stock exchange was around four million shares each trading day; however, on Black Thursday, a record 12.9 million shares were exchanged.

As prices dropped that day, the systems used to track the values of securities could not keep pace with the record trading volume.  At one point, ticker tapes were running nearly 90 minutes behind the market.  In addition to marking the beginning of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Black Thursday also set the stage for the Great Depression.

The crash of 1929 eventually led to tighter regulation of the securities markets in the United States.  The Securities Act of 1933 would ensure buyers receive complete and accurate information before investing in securities.  The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 would govern the secondary trading of securities (including stocks, bonds, and debentures), and establish the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to oversee and enforce these laws.

Related Terms

gray swan event, Kennedy Slide of 1962, Black Monday, circuit breaker, Black Tuesday