You Thought Monday Was Bad?

The day after the market crash was perhaps more dangerous

Black Monday -- Oct. 19 -- is already notorious as the darkest day in Wall Street history. With good reason: the record 508-point, 22.6% plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average highlighted a disaster that wiped out $500 billion in shareholder assets. The very next day, however, the Dow posted a record 102-point gain. So within 24 hours, everything was suddenly upbeat again, right?

Wrong, according to an in-depth investigation of the crash by the Wall Street Journal. A front-page Journal story last week asserted that the market came closer to "total meltdown" the day after the crash than it had...