Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, August 1, 2011. REUTERS

The blue-chip S&P 500 index is now in the red for the year, after stocks fell for the seventh straight day, erasing all gains for the year.

The “500” slipped 2.56 percent Tuesday as investors grow increasingly worried about the U.S. economy on the same day as the U.S. government averted a default by agreeing to a debt ceiling agreement. A report that June consumer spending declined for the first time in two tears added to investor jitters.

The index is now at its lowest point for the year and is down 0.29 percent year-to-date.

Over the last seven consecutive days, the index has plunged 6.76 percent.

However, this seven-day run is not nearly as devastating as the decline witnessed during the period following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the autumn of 2008. Between October 2 and October 10 of that year (seven trading sessions), the “500” index plummeted an astounding 22.55 percent.

Howard Silverblatt, senior index strategist at S&P, also pointed out that since this year’s high of April 29, 2011, industrial stocks have corrected 14.08 percent, while financials have dropped 12.46 percent.
Incidentally, the stock market would have to keep falling for another five trading sessions in order to tie the record for most consecutive days of losses.

According to Silverblatt, between April 22 and May 9, 1966, the S&P 500 index slipped every day, or 6.60 percent over that whole period.