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A surprising lack of concern after the worst week in years

By Michael Nystrom
July 30, 2007

After stocks lost almost 5% last week in some scary, mutiple triple-digit down days, I expected the weekend press to show a little more fear than I saw. My Barron's didn't show up on Saturday (drat!), but the Sunday NY Times had nothing about the stock market on the front page, nothing about it in the Week in Review, nothing about it on the front of the Business section, and only this little blurb, which I found on Page 10 or thereabouts, deep within the paper's folds. Maybe this is just a manifestation of denial.

If you can't quite make out the small type, it reads:
It was a very bad week for the stock market. By some measurements, it was the worst week in several years.

A big sell-off Thursday, followed by another sizeable decline Friday, put the week in a memorably miserable class. For the S&P 500, which lost 4.9 percent for the week, it was the worst five-day decline since 2002. For the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which dropped 4.2%, it was the worst week since early 2003.

Worries about the subprime mortgage crisis, the housing slowdown and a global credit tightening sent stocks around the world down sharply.

What was striking about the losses was that they came on the heels of so many market highs. It was on July 19, after all, that the Dow close above 14,00 for the first time.

For the week, the Dow lost 585.61 points, or 4.2 percent, to close at 13,265.47. The S&P 500 lost 75.15 points, or 4.9 percent, to close at 1458.95. The Nasdaq composite index fell 125.36 points, or 4.7 percent, to close at 2,562.24.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sank to 4.76 percent, from 4.95 percent the previous week.
So there you have it. The worst week in several years, and that's all that America's paper of record had to say about it.


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