March 18, 2018

Dow plunges 1033 points and sinks into correction

10 February 2018, 07:42 | Marlene Myers

Dow plunges 1033 points and sinks into correction

Asian shares fall after Wall Street plunge

We're guessing that U.S. President Donald Trump won't be gloating about the stock market in upcoming speeches the way he did during last week's State of the Union Address.

Monday's slump in U.S. stocks was a break from many months of relative steady gains and left market participants grappling with an implosion of products that bet against volatility.

After hitting a high two weeks ago, US stocks started to tumble last week after the Labor Department said workers' wages grew at a fast rate in January. It's still up 15 percent over the past year.

The leveling came after the Dow saw its worst single-day point drop, falling a historic 1,175 after breaching the 25,000-point mark in January. But that trade has turned bad amid wild price swings that have turned suddenly violent since the market's peak. Many market watchers have predicted a pullback for some time, saying stock prices have become too expensive relative to company earnings. Yesterday, it lost 4.1 per cent, which was its biggest daily percentage drop since August 2011.

USA stocks saw their biggest one-day fall in six years on Monday, as investor profit taking brought the market back down from record highs seen in late January, after benchmark bond yields rose to a four year high last week.

Market insiders were still coming to terms with Monday's chaotic session, in which the blue-chip index lost more than 1,000 points in about an hour at one stage on the way to its biggest point drop ever. The last market correction ended nearly two years ago. "Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down". For many traders, that was a sign that the Fed will have to pick up the pace of its rate hikes - higher wages have the capacity to fuel inflation.

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In and of themselves, corrections aren't something for investors to panic about, according to experts. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.2 percent to 30,953.48, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.1 percent to 3,376.36.

How are global markets reacting?

Some investors fear the market is over-stretched in the context of higher inflation and rising bond yields as central banks withdraw their easy money policies of recent years.

The S&P 500 rose 19.7 points, or 0.73%, to 2,714.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.64 points, or 0.37%, at 7,142.52. Three months after, the index was up a bigger-than-usual 4.62%, on average, and six months after, the Dow was 11.02% higher, on average - more than triple its average anytime return! The Nikkei in Japan closed down 4.7%, China's main stock index closed down 3.3%, and Australia's closed down 3.2%.

Also Wednesday, U.S. crude oil added 29 cents to $63.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar fell to 109.33 yen from 109.70 yen. Falls like this have not been registered since August 2011 when investors were fretting over Europe's debt crisis and the debt ceiling impasse in Washington that prompted a USA credit rating downgrade. The euro dipped to $1.2392 from $1.2399.

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