Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Stock markets plunge, Dow and S&P 500 in 'correction'

This is why the Dow is plunging Stocks open mixed on Wall Street
Orlando Vargas | 10 February, 2018, 02:24

Gainers included technology companies, retailers like Amazon and Home Depot, and industrial companies and banks.

Did Trump tweet about "Dow Joans"?

Further driving the drop in materials were commodity prices, with copper and aluminium hitting multi-week lows after a rise in inventories pointed to markets maintaining plentiful supply.

Asian stocks are coming under heavy selling pressure, with benchmark indexes in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea losing 2% to 5%, as the downtrend in oil prices added to worries over higher USA bond yields. Less than two weeks ago the Dow closed at a record high of 26,616, according to CNN Money.

The S&P 500 dropped 100.66 points, or 3.75 percent, to 2,581.00. The Nasdaq was down 275 points to 6,777, a 3.90 percent decline.

Trader Michael Milano, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Yields then backed off their multi-year highs, giving the Dow a 560-point bounce on Tuesday and relative stability on Wednesday.

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The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,122.

The question now is whether the corrections that occurred this week are part of a "normal correction" that occurs after strong stock market performance (corrections between 5 and 15 percent are not uncommon) or whether it marks the end of accommodative monetary policy-driven stock market strength. Two years is an unusually long time for the market to go without one.

Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management, said the plunge wasn't caused by inflation fears alone.

The market's turmoil began last Friday and has continued this week as investors anxious about early signs of inflation.

Indeed, the pace of the afternoon equity sell-off in NY "raised suspicions that investors had been forced to unwind positions in haste", FT noted.

The sharp selloff in recent days was kicked off by concerns over rising inflation and bond yields, sparked by Friday's January US jobs report.

After huge gains over the course of 2017 and a January jobs report that showed significant wage increases, analysts became anxious the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates sooner than expected, causing market volatility as investors looked to lock in gains. Higher rates act like a brake on the economy by slowing down borrowing and lending. "Now, they're moving higher and investors are concerned they might move higher faster".

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