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This Day In Market History: Bear Stearns Merges With JPMorgan

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Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 10 years ago, Bear Stearns merged with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).

Where The Market Was

The Dow finished the next day at 11,972.25. The S&P 500 finished at 1,276.60. Today, the Dow is trading at 24,873.6 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,747.3.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 2008, U.S. property prices plummeted, triggering the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Scientists completed the construction of the world’s largest particle accelerator in Sweden, which some feared could end the world by creating a small black hole. Oil prices peaked at $147.30/bbl in July.

The End Of Bear Stearns

Less than two years after reporting record earnings in December 2006, Bear Stearns officially agreed to a stock swap merger with JPMorgan in a deal worth about $236 million, or about $2 per Bear Stearns share.

Bear Stearns has been a leading Wall Street investment bank since its founding in 1923, and its share price reached a record close of $171.51 on Jan. 12, 2007. By the time Bear Stearnes informed shareholders that its two hedge funds had “very little value” remaining due to mounting losses from subprime mortgages, the stock had dropped to under $140.

On March 12, 2008, CEO Alan Schwartz appeared on CNBC and assured the public that Bear Stearns had plenty of liquidity to continue its operations, and the stock closed at $61.58. Four days later, it was acquired for $2 per share.

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