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Blue Monday on Wall Street

To quote that feel-good band of the '90s, New Order, it was a blue Monday on Wall Street. And that's not even the half of it.

Sure, it was the worst day for stocks in two months. Sure, the S&P 500 dropped 2 percent today. Sure, there was an acceleration into the abyss in the last few minutes of trading, as if the day-long pain wasn't enough. Sure, the Dow and the S&P 500 are now negative for June.

But check this out: All that work the S&P 500 has done since hitting its early-March bottom to get back to positive on the year -- finally?

Gone. Vanished. Poof!

The S&P 500 -- which includes blue-chip stocks such as 3M, Heinz and GE -- is now negative for the year.

Which is exactly like pushing a very heavy rock up a long hill, and then having the rock roll back down to where it started.

From Jan. 2 to its March 9 bottom, the S&P 500 lost a little more than 27 percent.

The S&P 500 got even for the year on April 16, riding a 27 percent rally that began on March 10.

The S&P 500 popped another 9 percent from April 16 to hit its (so-far) 2009 peak on June 2.

Since then, it's been all downhill. The S&P 500 moved negative for the year last Monday, June 15.

That's the most discouraging thing about this recession. Just when you feel like you're getting back some of that 35 percent to 40 percent that has been wiped out of your portfolio and 401(k) since Wall Street's all-time high in October 2007 -- as investors did since the March bottom -- boom! That rock rolls back down down over you to the bottom of the hill.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  June 22, 2009; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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