1987 Stock Market Crash Chart and What Caused the Crash

Posted on by Thomas DeGrace

1987 Stock Market Crash
The 1987 Stock Market Crash bears another significant mention in the history of stock trading. The crash was big, fast and the market suffered heavy losses.


Till August 1987 markets were favorable. In fact as per the records of 25th August 1987, the Dow was of a 2722.44, which was almost a record hike. But after that it only started to depreciate. An 8.4% drop was recorded on September 22nd 1987. But then there was an increase of Dow again. A 5.9% increase was recorded on the 2nd of October 1987. But that was only for the time being. Once again the Dow started to fall and by October 19th the market had badly crashed; so much so that the Dow had dropped to 508. That would be almost a 22.6% drop on that single day. And if the drop had to be measured from the peak on 25th August, it was a whooping 36.7%. October 19th has since been referred to as the Black Monday.

The 1987 crash was so big that the stock market ended up loosing almost $1/2 trillion. Now what could be the probable reason for such an unnatural crash in the stock market? Market analysts over the years have deduced the reasons which could have resulted in this market crash. The first and foremost reason they found out was that the market lacked liquidity. The market failed to manage the sudden and extremely high volume of sell orders. It seemed that almost all the investors needed to sell their stocks at that particular time. This became difficult for the market to handle and resulted in the crash.

1987 Stock Market Crash Chart
1987 Stock Market Crash Chart

Causes of the Crash

One of the many reasons that resulted in the crash of 1929 is the overvaluation of the stocks. The trading of the stocks at that point of time was being carried out at a very high P/E ratio. High P/E ratios do not result in a stock market crash every time. This can be understood from the fact that even during the years 1960-1972; the stocks were being traded at high P/E ratios. But at that time no such crash in the stock market happened.

Market Analysts who researched on supposed reasons for the crash of 1987 also believe that computer trading and security of derivatives is a major cause that resulted in the historical crash. The big investment companies ordered extremely large stock trades through computers. This also served to be a reason for the big stock market crash.

Reforms After the Crash

Now started the preparations for reforms to revive the market and pull it out from the huge crisis. The first and foremost reform that was suggested was the uniformity of the margin requirements. This was done so that the volatility of the stocks, stock options and index features could be reduced. Also the installation of new computer systems was suggested so that the market could be pulled out from these difficult times as soon as possible. These computer systems that were newly installed in the stock exchanges needed just a single key stroke to enter the trade. Earlier this work would be tiresome and needed almost 25 keystrokes. These new computer systems rejected the trade if a wrong input was made. That ways these computers helped increase the efficiency of data management. They also helped to minimize errors and maximize productivity. Overall these new computer systems were helping to manage the data with much ease decreasing chances of mistakes to a great extent.

Following the 1987 stock market crash was one of the major reforms that were introduced was by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the NYSE. They together introduced the revolutionary “circuit breaker” mechanism. This system was installed in these two exchanges to that no major market crashes further occurred. What this mechanism did was halt the market in case of major fall of the Dow. During this period no trade could be carried out in these two exchanges. If the Dow fell 250 points or more, the market would stop its trading for an hour. If the fall had been for more than 400 points then the market would halt for two hours.


The 1987 Stock Market Crash was really huge and resulted in millions of people to loose wealth. The reforms that were introduced needed to be strictly followed so that the market could get over the losses soon. Till date the 1987 stock market crash is mentioned to be one of worst crashes in the history of stock trading. After the 1929 stock market crash this was the biggest crash to occur resulting in a huge loss.

6 Responses to 1987 Stock Market Crash Chart and What Caused the Crash

  1. Stock Market says:

     I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

  2. Jiten Patil says:


    This article had to explain the Crash stock market of the 1987 They together introduced the revolutionary “circuit breaker” mechanism. This system was installed in these two exchanges to that no major market crashes further occurred.

  3. Henry says:

    “Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, ‘green’ marketing, and the boom in gourmet coffees.”

    “If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.” – NY Post Founder of the Trends Research Institute, Publisher of Trends Journal, for more than 30 years, Gerald Celente delivers on-time, on-target insights into what the future may hold—and what you should do to prepare for it.

  4. Ayush Gupta says:

    It is very painful when Stock Market crashes. Lot’s of people loose their homes. Many of them are just dependent on markets

  5. wallace dembski says:

    I was a stockbroker at Norstar brokerage 67 Wall Street, 9th floor it was a madhouse in our office with phones ringing off the hooks.
    I will never forget those days. I took a beating too.

  6. kevin boyle says:

    it is about to happen again.

    need to say it will start abroad and infect us. also, the speed of the decline will be the same. it is really 1/3 down in less than 2 weeks. also people need to know that their computer trading platform will not let them sell. and market orders will not be executed as the system just shuts down via the circuit breakers.


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