Sensex records biggest intraday gain after 10Y but crisis is far from over

The Sensex moved up the most today (7th April) after almost 11 years. However, this does not mean the crisis is over! An analysis.

Published: April 7, 2020 at 4:05 pm

The Sensex closed today (7th April 2020) at 30,067.21 posting an intraday gain of 8.97% – the biggest since 18th May 2009! An analysis of such past gains and to find out how many occurred after (during) a crash.

First, let us look at the list of the largest intraday Sensex gains. The entries in red occurred just days or weeks before the Harshad Mehta scam. There are three entries marked with a <=. These are indicated by arrows in the image below the table.

List of largest intraday Sensex gains

DateDaily Return
13-May-9211.2% <=
07-04-20208.97% <=
31-Oct-088.2% <=
The biggest gain of 17.3% occurred when the look Sabha result was announced in May 2009, making the start of the recovery from the 2008 crisis. This is shown below.
Normalized Sensex crashes with annotations of big positive daily returns
Normalized Sensex crashes with annotations of big positive daily returns

Notice a 8.2% gain during the course of the 2008 crash. Today’s 8.97% marked in red does not mean we are out of the woods yet! All the data tabulated above are indicated along with the Sensex closing price data in log scale.

Daily returns of the Sensex greater than 8% with closing price in log scale
Daily returns of the Sensex greater than 8% with price data in log scale

Such violent positive and negative fluctuations are quite common as we had discussed recently: Timing the market will work but not the way we imagined!

Sensex price movement along with positive and negative returns above and below a threshold value
Sensex price movement along with positive and negative returns above and below a threshold value (3%)

With lockdowns world-wide far from over, the real impact of associated losses and debt-burden will take months to unravel. Any such gain should not be taken seriously. The rain of bad news is probably getting started with pay cuts and layoffs (here is how you can prepare for this).

It would be premature to assume that the markets are on the road to recovery based on movement over the past few days. One Swallow does not make the summer.

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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
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