Monday, March 2, 2020

Watching for the Bear

U.S. stocks entered a market correction — defined as a 10 percent drop from a recent peak — last Thursday. For the S&P 500 the drop into a correction from an all-time high in just six trading days earlier was the fastest on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The next step would be a bear market, which is defined as a 20 percent drop from recent highs. As of the end of last week, the S&P 500 was down 12.8 percent from its record close, while the Dow finished 14 percent below its all-time closing high. The Nasdaq ended the week 12.8 percent below its high.

It was the biggest weekly drop for all three major equity benchmarks since the depths of the financial crisis in October 2008. Even if next week isn't as bad as last week was, we might still be entering bear territory.

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