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Quote of the Day

“The key thing in economics, whenever someone makes an assertion to you, is to always ask, “And then what?”Actually, it’s not such a bad idea to ask it about everything. But you should always ask, “And then what?”

-Warren Buffett

May 25th – This Day in Stock Market History

May 25th, 1946 – The New York Stock Exchange shuts down due to the nation wide railroad strike, part of one of the largest waves of strikes in US history.

Railroad workers walked off the job on May 23rd, resulting in much of the American economy, including the stock market, to come to a standstill.

New York Times Coverage of railroad strike
New York Times Coverage of railroad strike

Workers would return to work by the end of the day, ending one of the largest strikes in American history.

New York Times coverage of rail strike ending
New York Times coverage of rail strike ending

May 25th, 1961 – President John F. Kennedy announces America’s plan to go to the moon.

JFK going to moon speech

For the rest of Kennedy’s speech, visit the Kennedy Library site, here.

Americans were skeptical of Kennedy’s plan.  At this time, many were still doubtful that the U.S. could compete with the Soviets, a fear that was reflected by the stock market declining 23% over the next year.

The Soviets had been the first to launch a Satellite (Sputnik on October 4th, 1957, which sent the market lower for 6 months), and the U.S. had trouble building its rocket program to match the Soviets’ (Such as the Vanguard rocket explosion on December 6th, 1957, which sent stocks down 6% over the next week).

However, the U.S. would power through. U.S. stock would face one more steep decline due to concerns about the space race in mid 1962, before bottoming out by the end of June 1962 and ‘rocketing’ higher for the next few years:

Chart from Macrotrends
Chart from Macrotrends

Best May 25th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1920 – Up 3.05%, 2.67 points.

Worst May 25th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1931 – Down 3.65%, 5.03 points.

Read of the Day

Capital Markets and the U.S. Victory in the Space Race: