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Market Volatility: Get Used To It

The summer swoon is probably not the end of the bull market.

Anne Kates Smith

For a bull market that has kept the bear at bay for more than a decade, this stock market is racking up some scary downturns. The one that began after Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index hit a high in late July saw stocks fall close to 6% by mid-August, with occasional bounces depending on the news of the day, presidential tweets or interest rate moves.

The summer swoon still qualifies as just a “pullback,” defined as a drop of between 5% and 9.9% from the market’s most recent high. But that makes the second pullback so far in 2019, following two full-blown corrections—declines of 10% to 19.9% from the high—in 2018. Once you get past 20%, you’re in bear country.

Does the market’s malaise mark the end of the bull’s run? For now, it looks like the bull will live to fight another day, but you can probably expect more pain and certainly more volatility.

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October 2019

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