With a 38.9% decline year to date, 2008 is shaping up to be the S&P 500's worst year ever. At this point in the year, the next closest years in terms of declines were 1931 and 1937. In both of these years, the S&P 500 was down 31% through October 22nd.
Since its peak in October 2007, the S&P has now declined by 42.3%. On a historical basis, this is the sixth worst decline in the S&P 500 without a rally of 20% or more. As shown in the list below, outside of the Great Depression, the only period where the S&P 500 had a greater decline was during the bear market of 1973/1974. Historically, it hasn't been much worse.
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