January 7, 2016 / 10:20 PM / 4 years ago

Dow Jones index's start to 2016 worst in at least 120 years

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The last time the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI had such a miserable start to a year, traders were likely heading to the New York Stock Exchange at 10 Broad Street in a horse-drawn buggy.

The 5.2 percent drop in the Dow in the first four days of 2016 was its worst such beginning since at least 1896, according to financial data provider FactSet Research.

That was about four years before the zeppelin made its first aerial voyage, seven years before the Wright brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and 12 years before the debut of Ford Motor Co’s Model T car.

Groundbreaking on the New York City subway system did not begin until 1900, and the opening of the first subway line did not take place for another four years.

The demolition of the New York Stock Exchange at 10 Broad Street began in May 1901, and the new exchange opened at 18 Broad Street in 1903. It did not open at its current address - 11 Wall Street - until 1922.

The 30-component Dow index as it is currently structured did not make its debut until 1928. Instead, it had only 12 components that reflected the industrial landscape of the time, including National Lead, Pacific Mail Steamship and Tennessee Coal & Iron.

There is, however, one common element in the index between then and now: General Electric (GE.N).

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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