2012 had its fair share of big days on the stock market. Here's a look back at what set off the biggest moves in the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Biggest Drops:
— Nov. 7: Down 313 points. On the day after the presidential election, investors worried that a divided government wouldn't reach deal on the budget in time to avoid across-the-board government spending cuts and tax increases Jan. 1.
— June 1: Down 275 points. A dismal report on hiring and employment for May sent the market swooning.
— June 21: Down 251 points. A sharp decline in a closely watched measure of manufacturing in the Northeast got investors worried about the U.S. economy. China also reports a slowdown at its factories.
— October 23: Down 244 points. Big companies including Xerox, DuPont and 3M report slumping revenues for the third quarter.
— April 10: Down 214 points. Rising borrowing costs for Spain and Italy made investors worry that those two major countries would become the latest to be engulfed in Europe's government debt crisis.
The Biggest Gains:
— June 6: Up 287 points. Hope that European officials would find ways to ease the region's debt crisis launched a rally.
— June 29: Up 278 points. Markets stormed higher after European leaders came up with a plan to rescue banks, relieve debt-burdened governments and restore investor confidence.
— Sept. 6: Up 244 points. Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, unveiled a program to buy government bonds from the region's struggling countries with the aim of lowering their borrowing costs.
— March 13: Up 218 points. U.S. banks led a powerful rally after JPMorgan Chase said it plans to buy back as much as $15 billion of its stock and raise its dividend. The government also reported strong retail sales for February.
— Aug. 3: Up 217 points. The U.S. government reported a sharp increase in hiring for July.
- Politics & Government