After days of turbulence, Wall Street has settled down


The Dow suffered its biggest points loss in history on Monday as it dropped 1,579 points, then managed a meagre rally to close at 1,175 - wiping out all gains that had been made in 2018.

While markets were noticeably calmer on Wednesday, there are signs that investors are still far more nervous than they were just a few days ago.

At 10:53 a.m. ET (1553 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 249.57 points, or 1 percent, at 25,162.34. It spiked above 50 early Tuesday. On Tuesday, the Vix breifly hit its highest intraday trading level since the financial crisis.

That brought relief to markets after a global sell-off began last week.

"Now that the volatility event is over, investors will focus on the economic data and the fundamentals", said Sameer Samana, a global equity and technical strategist. That could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than planned. The euro was up 0.4 percent at $1.2415 while the dollar rose 0.1 percent to 109.22 yen.

Let's focus on the big point drop the other day.

Despite traders attempting to repair the damage, at close the Dow remained down by 1,175 points, the worst closing point decline ever recorded.

"The stock market is up significantly, over 30 percent since President Trump was elected", Mnuchin told the committee. Historically, the stock market has gained 8 percent, on average, in a year.

It's worth repeating: The stock market is NOT the economy.

Do you think a 10-year bond that never pays more than 2.8 percent is a better investment over 10 years than investing in an S&P 500 index fund and holding it?

Other safe-play investments also fell.

Robert Charmak

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.33-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Precious metals prices often rise when the market hits a rough patch. And bond yields haven't been this high in years.

Global markets mostly rose and appeared calmer Wednesday. Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.9 percent to 30,323.20, while the Shanghai Composite lost 1.8 percent to 3,309.26 on heavy selling of banks and insurers. The effort is called the Survey of Consumer Finances. Apple fell $3.49, or 2.1 percent, to $159.54 and Facebook lost $5.13, or 2.8 percent, to $180.18. South Korea's Kospi had declined 1.5 percent.

Wynn Resorts climbed about 10 percent after casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as the chief executive following sexual misconduct allegations.

Second, lots of market pundits say stock valuations are in a bubble and it's time for a correction.

"In the 'old days, when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up". However, when the market is trading at 26,000, the same drop doesn't have as much punch.

Energy companies fell as oil prices sank. That is great news for Americans' 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts. All of the Nasdaq's gains for 2018 were also wiped out.

Asked why the Dow, which also cratered 666 points Friday, gyrated so wildly, Axel Merk, chief investment officer at San Francisco-based Merk Investments, said: "When stocks reach new highs month after month, when a virtual currency is the hottest thing in town, greed has overtaken fear".

After years of relative calm and stable financial markets, volatility has come back with a vengeance. Defensive sectors utilities and real estate were the only major S&P groups to end negative.

Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal were both down nearly three per cent.

On Black Monday in 1987, the Dow dropped an incredible 22%. Wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.85 a gallon.