October was the worst month ever in history for world equity markets; investors lost an estimated $5.79 trillion. Standard & Poor's data shows that the month's loss of the 52 global equity markets was 45 percent above that of September when markets lost a then record $4 trillion. It is estimated investors have lost $16.22 trillion year-to-date through October.
"What do you get when you add the underlying concern of the economy and the fear of a worldwide recession to a market already devastated by credit issues? You get the worst-ever month for global equity markets in modern history," said Howard Silverblatt, senior Index Analyst at Standard & Poor's in a press statement.
"Overlooked, however, is the fact that the U.S. market has been one of the better performing markets over the past five months -- although the losses are substantial," adds Silverblatt. "To some extent, the much higher expectations of non-U.S. growth, as well as the expected U.S. decoupling, have caused a much stronger market decline abroad. As a result, the U.S. now represents 45.9 percent of all global equity issues, compared to 40.5 percent at the end of May."