Investors are getting more and more panicked this week as the Nasdaq Composite Index teeters on the brink of bear market territory. Typically, that is defined as a drop of more than 20% from a recent peak. The Nasdaq closed down today at 6,528.41 points, almost 20% lower than its recent high on August 29.
Citing Dow Jones data, MarketWatch reports that the last time the Nasdaq was in bear territory was March 2009—aka, during the financial crisis. It’s been a long time since we’ve had one of those: What would make a new bear market historic is it would basically end what has been the longest bull rally in market history.
The index would have to fall to about 6,487 to qualify as a true bear, so we’re not there yet. But if we fall into one, it would be the first bear market since the Great Recession, and with the stock market already spiraling into its worst December since the Great Depression, that’s looking more and more likely.