Feb 26, 2021 - Economy

The week markets went wild

Stock market illustration

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

A few places it's playing out...

Stocks: The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell 5% this week, its ugliest performance since October.

  • The "meme trade" reemerged, with GameStop stock gaining 156% this week, a record second only to ... that week in January.
  • Separately, the SEC suspended trading in 15 different penny stocks Friday "because of apparent social media attempts to inflate their stock price" — its latest action on this front, the agency said this afternoon.

Bonds: There was a rare, massive surge in yields, followed by a sharp reversal. This is not often a wild market, but a measure of bond volatility this week hit the highest level since last April, Bloomberg reports.

  • Inflation fears — and how the Federal Reserve will respond — hit a fever pitch. The 10-year government yield hit its highest level in a year (above 1.6%) on Thursday. It ultimately pulled back to 1.4% Friday.
  • The yield on a separate bond (the 5-year) saw the biggest single-day increase in over a decade on Thursday, per Tradeweb data.
  • And what you'll earn on dividends from the S&P 500 matched the return on the 10-year bond  — a pandemic-era first notched this week.

Then there's bitcoin: Prices fell roughly 20% this week, the worst drop since March.

  • A warning from soon-to-be public company Coinbase: The unveiling of Bitcoin's anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto and what he does with his stash could have a massive impact on the entire crypto market.
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