2018: When 400-point stock swings became normal

Remember when the markets were boring?Volatility was essentially absent throughout 2017 -- the calmest year fo...

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 12:02 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 12:02 PM

Remember when the markets were boring?

Volatility was essentially absent throughout 2017 -- the calmest year for markets in more than five decades. But the stock market roller coaster is back. Giant 459-point swings like Monday's plunge in the Dow are the new normal.

Last year, the S&P 500 moved 2% or more precisely zero times. That's happened six times so far this year -- three up, and three down, including Monday's 2.2% decline.

There were only eight days in 2017 when the S&P was up or down at least 1%. This year, stocks have moved 1% 23 times, and markets are on pace for the most volatile year since the financial system meltdown of 2008.

Unlike 2008, the economy is in fairly good shape. And markets aren't really all that far from where they started the year -- the wild moves in both directions have left the S&P down only 3.4% for the year through Monday's close. The Dow is down about 4%.

Related: Wall Street wants Trump to lay off Amazon and stop trade wars

Stock prices rose too high last year, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist for B. Riley FBR. Now, investors worry that the Federal Reserve could raise rates too fast or the Trump administration might start a trade war that could cause a global recession.

"We had a jack rabbit start due to exuberance over passing tax reform," Hogan said. "And then we slammed on the brakes when we became concerned there could be a policy mistake in the future."

The normal year has about 50 daily moves 1% or more, Hogan said, or about one a week. He doesn't expect the market to calm down to that normal level of volatility any time soon.

"We've got so many competing narratives it will take a while for the market to find a level for all the things causing it concern," he said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3927

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah104058
Marion90525
Washington69017
Clackamas29010
Deschutes1190
Linn1169
Umatilla1113
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill657
Jackson570
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Jefferson250
Douglas250
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Curry60
Union60
Crook50
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 67°
Corvallis
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Roseburg
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
North Bend
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events