At this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that volatility is back in a major way.
Last week, despite the shortened trading period, the markets hit a brick wall with the major averages dropping over 1,100 points. This week was more of the same. Volatility continues to roost. After hitting record highs back in September, traders have gotten pretty nervous as the geopolitical situation, trade and economic data have weakened. With the Fed raising rates, investors have been cautious that the end of the bull run could be near.
That’s shown up in this week’s economic data. A variety of measures point to good economic conditions. However, measures of inflation, retail sales and manufacturing activity have begun to slip.
Adding to the nervousness has been the start of earnings season. Reports have been generally bullish. However, forward guidance is starting to show some concerns. Consumers seem to be getting stretched and the trade war has started to affect profit margins and future outcomes.
With these difficulties facing stocks, investors once again were faced with plenty of volatility and big swings. All in all, the ride was a bumpy one that pretty much ended where it started.
Be sure to check out our previous edition of the Wrap here.