Sep 20, 2021 - Economy

Wall Street's wobble disrupts record stock market boom

Photo of people walking outside the New York Stock Exchange building

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Monday interrupted a stretch of calm amid the historic stock market boom underway since March 2020.

Driving the news: Jitters were apparent nearly everywhere.

  • Stocks swung at home: The Dow fell as much as 970 points, before rallying back 370 points. And the S&P finished 4% below its highest level ever.
  • Globally: Hong Kong stocks fell to the lowest point in nearly a year (other Asian markets were closed). Europe slumped too.
  • And then there’s Bitcoin. Prices fell as much as 10%.

One trigger: Massive China-based property firm Evergrande likely can’t make payments on its huge debt pile due this week.

  • It’s unclear how — or if — a default reverberates through the financial system.

Add it to the other factors analysts have been warning about during a historically bad month for the markets: the debt ceiling and spending impasse, the Fed timeline to ease pandemic-era support, and the Delta variant.

What they’re saying: “This market has experienced almost no downside volatility for a long time, and a pullback was long overdue,” says David Bahnsen of wealth management firm The Bahnsen Group.

  • A sign of the times: Some saw an opening, as social media suggested. “#BuyTheDip” was trending briefly on Twitter.
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