The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 7,000 points yesterday, for the first time since May 1997, largely on news that ailing insurance and reinsurance giant American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) recorded a fourth-quarter loss of $61.7 billion, the largest quarterly loss in U.S. history.
Although the stock markets appeared headed for a higher open today, according to Bloomberg News, market observers wonder whether the federal government’s multiple bailouts of AIG may be a sign that other large U.S. financial institutions are also going to continue to receive large infusions of taxpayer money to keep them from failing.
In the past two months, the Dow has lost nearly 23 percent of its value. Its March 2 close of 6,764.81 was nearly 49 percent below its 52-week high of 13,191.49 points. How low can the Dow go before it hits bottom?