Economics Weekly: Market Swings Back to Risk-Off

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

To put some context around yesterday's market decline: ranked, the 3% decline in the S&P 500 was the 332nd worst day for the market since 1927. In 2018 alone, there were five days with greater one-day declines, the worst being February 5, 2018, when the market plunged 4.1%. Since 1927, the worst day ever for the S&P 500 was October 19, 1987, when the market plunged by 20.5%, and turned out to have been one of the best buying opportunities ever.

The reasons for the decline are, as always, nuanced; however, they mainly arose from five major events in the last week. It is also, however, very important to note one major potential reason for a decline that is not among this list of five.

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Richard de Chazal, CFA is a London-based macroeconomist covering the U.S. economy and financial markets.

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