The Motley Fool Previous Page

Why the Dow Plunged 160 Points Today

John Divine
December 28, 2012

You've heard the term "30 out of 30," or some variation of it, before. "Thirty out of 30 doctors agree." "She's made 30 out of her last 30 free throws." "Thirty out of 30 people found the following review helpful." Normally, hearing about such a high percentage of the occurrence of Thing X, we assume that Thing X is a good thing. Well, this time it isn't, as 30 out of 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell today, as the blue chip index plummeted 158 points, or 1.21%, to close at 12,938. 

The cause for the systematic fall today was once again the looming fiscal cliff. With only one business day remaining before $607 billion in spending cuts and tax increases kick in, Wall Street was unabashedly pessimistic -- so pessimistic that chemical powerhouse DuPont (NYSE: DD), down 0.8% on the day, was one of the Dow's top performers.

Among the more notable laggards, <