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Quote of the Day

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

-Bill Gates, who on this day in 1975 formed a partnership with his friend Paul Allen to sell computer software. A couple months later they would call it Microsoft.

April 4th – This Day in Stock Market History

April 4th, 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.

New York Times coverage of MLK assassination
New York Times coverage of MLK assassination

The New York Stock Exchange would hold a 1 minute moment of silence in honor of Martin Luther King on April 5th, and close for the day of his funeral on April 9th.

April 4th, 1975 – Bill Gates and Paul Allen form a partnership for selling computer software, it would take a couple more months before the partnership was named and Microsoft was born.

Photo: Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen were all smiles in 1983 just after delivering MS Dos for the Tandy laptop and signing a contract to write MS-DOS for IBM. (Doug Wilson/Corbis)
Photo: Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen were all smiles in 1983 just after delivering MS Dos for the Tandy laptop and signing a contract to write MS-DOS for IBM. (Doug Wilson/Corbis)

At the time Paul Allen was 22 and Bill Gates was 19, they were living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (The company would be moved to Bellevue, Washington in 1979 and incorporated in 1981).

April 4th, 1996 – Search engine company Excite has its IPO. The market, infatuated with search engine companies since the IPO of Open Text on February 2nd, 1996, would give the company a market valuation of $175 million.

Excite had revenue of just $434,000 at the time.

The company would be bankrupt by October 1st, 2001.

excite_homepage_1996

April 4th, 2000 – One of the wildest trading days in history. After a court rules that Microsoft was a monopoly, the NASDAQ plunges, falling from 4,283.45 to 3,649.11 – 14.7%!

But investors would buy the dip, bidding the tech-heavy NASDAQ up to 4,148 at closing. It was the most volatile day of trading on the NASDAQ in history. Over the next week the NASDAQ would fall 30%, evaporating over $2 trillion in dotcom “wealth”.

New York Times coverage of the NASDAQ collapse and recovery April 4th, 2000
New York Times coverage of the NASDAQ collapse and recovery April 4th, 2000

Source: Panic, Prosperity, and Progress: Five Centuries of History and the Markets


Best April 4th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1898 – Up 2.20%, 0.72 points.

Worst April 4th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1939 – Down 1.85%, 2.45 points.

<– Go To Previous Day: April 3rd: 1925 – “Chicago’s Black Friday” as wheat prices plummet

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