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20 years later, could Black Monday happen again?

Twenty years ago today the US stock market posted its single worst one day loss in history. Could what happened on Black Monday happen again? It was a day of shocked looks and lost fortunes on Wall Street. In a single day the Dow Jones Industrial average shed more than 23 percent of its value, down 508 points. When traders did the math, they realized that $1 trillion in market value had vanished in the massive sell-off. And it wasn't just the United States. Markets in Asia, Europe and Canada saw similar or bigger losses on that day two decades ago. Some economists and market watchers say it could happen again. A similar percentage drop would have the Dow falling by more than 3,000 points. But experts say a market crash is much less likely today. Since the '87 crash the stock exchange has put in an elaborate system of curbs meant to keep the market from going into free-fall. But those systems are not the most important part of keeping the market stable. Today most of the trades are executed electronically and millions more individuals and firms buy and sell stocks. Experts say those two factors alone provide more protection for the stock market.

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