After generally rallying for the last 2 or 3 months, stocks suddenly ran into an unexpected roadblock. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) had climbed to within about 6% of its all-time high and other indexes, while not as close to peak historical levels, had risen in tandem. Then some disquieting news from the Middle East rocked the markets and threatened to send energy prices spiraling out of control, hammering stocks sharply lower.Such was the situation in October 1973, at the beginning of the Arab oil embargo. The price of crude would quadruple over the next several months, plunging world economies into deep recession. The Dow got slammed for a 20% loss by early December, and Wall Street didn’t bottom until about a year later.By Friday, January 20 of this year, stock investors wondered if history was about to repeat. Amid strong global oil demand and already tight capacity, Iran, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), broke U.N. seals on its nuclear facility at Nanantz on January 10 and resumed research the rest of the world fears could lead to development of an atomic bomb. The financial community braced itself for possible sanctions or even… Read full this story
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