US economy

Dow Transports fall 10 days straight in record-equalling losing streak

The Dow Jones Transportation Average — one of Wall Street’s favourite barometers of economic activity — has fallen for a record-equalling tenth consecutive session.

Some investors regard the gauge’s performance as a predictor of growth given its composition of railroad operators, shipping companies and airlines that ship physical goods around the world.

So it is understandable why a 10-day losing streak adds to concerns about the health of the global economy on a day when the European Central Bank revealed plans for new bank stimulus to combat a gloomier outlook for the eurozone.

The Dow Transports finished 1 per cent lower on Thursday for its biggest one-day drop since January 22.

This is the fifth time since 1988 the gauge, which is weighted on the basis of its constituents’ stock prices rather than their market capitalisation, has fallen 10 sessions in a row. It has never pulled a Spinal Tap and gone to 11, according to Financial Times calculations and pop culture references.

The measure has fallen 4.6 per cent since its sell-off began, ranking it as the second-weakest 10-day losing streak. A little more than 10 years ago, when the financial crisis sell-off was in its death throes, the gauge staged a mini-correction, dropping more than 10 per cent in 10 days in its next-most recent record losing streak.


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