It's been a scary October for stocks, hasn't it?
But for my money, nothing as scary as that fateful day on October 19, 1987 when it seemed like capitalism itself had become unhinged.
I remember. I was there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
October 19, 1987 "Nightly Business Report"
Neil Cavuto: To the end market analysts are steadfastly refusing to even mention that word crash to describe what's going on right now instead they like to look at it as a correction that's still has to work itself out. But what they don't know and in fact readily worry about is how far down that correction really has to go.
Near record number of people gathering around the New York Stock Exchange today to sort of witness history in the making and the opportunity to see incredible drops in the Dow right before their eyes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I'm not just commenting on my hair or voice back then. My thanks to my old colleagues and friends at the "Nightly Business Report" for letting me share that from back then.
I'm talking about how mesmerized the world was by what would turn out to be a passing event back then.
Because forget about where we all were 27 years ago yesterday. Does anyone remember what happened 27 years ago today?
The day after the big crash.
The day after a 508-point fall in the Dow.
The day after the most famous stock average in the world, lost nearly a quarter of its value in a single day.
The day after Black Monday.
The day I like to call Claw Back Tuesday.
The day the Dow rebounded more than 102 points, or that was 6 percent at the time.
Setting up for a wild Wednesday, that saw buyers add another186 points to the still battered index.
Beginning this day, 27 years ago, the Dow over the next two days recovered 289 points of that 508-points lost.
But we don't remember that comeback as much as we remember that one-day fall back?
Nor do we seem to recall that a market that was given up for dead, would within just a couple of years be making new highs and eventually setting the stage for the longest bull market in U.S. history.
Just like we don't remember that since that painful drubbing on October 19th, the Dow is nearly 10 times higher than it was back then.
Hardly a straight line.
And hardly without incident. Lots of incidents.
There would be other hits. Many hits.
Leveraged buyouts that would fail.
And sadly terror attacks that would not fail.
Yet invariably stocks in the aggregate advancing over time without fail.
Through wars in the Middle East.
And a financial meltdown in Middle America.
And those brave enough to see it, and plunk money down on it, were richly rewarded for it.
Brave enough to buy when everyone around them was screaming sell.
That's why, for my money, the real story isn't what happened 27 years ago yesterday, but what began 27 years ago today.
When hope trumped hopeless.
When calm bested calamity.
And those who saw past progress marked in short-term weeks or quarters, dared to think of the greatness of America in years.
Patiently, prudently, through bear and bull markets alike.
Kind of like my hair back then.
A constant even now.