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One word sums up the start of 2016 and that would be “down.” At this point, investors may want to go back in time to the start of 2015 rather than continue on with this year. The year is already shaping up to be one of the worst opening performances for stocks since the depths of the Great Recession. Continuing with the post-holiday season losses, stocks have continued their trend downward this week on the backs of a variety of negative factors.

On the economic data front, key gauges in manufacturing, unemployment and consumer sales have been pretty dour here at home. Across the pond in several markets such as China the data has been even worse. None of this is calming investors’ fears.

Several company-specific issues aren’t helping either. From poor Christmas sales numbers to big earnings misses, stocks themselves haven’t exactly hit it out of the park. That’s helped drive volatility and share prices down across the board.

All in all, the new year is shaping up to be pretty rough.

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