The word “panic” was used generously today to describe a big sell-off on Wall St. By the time I made it to the website to view what that meant, the Dow was already down about 300 points. Bad, indeed, but certainly less than I expected when I heard the “p” word.
Matt Nesto of Yahoo Finance noticed it, too:
Three little words within a six paragraph statement released yesterday afternoon by the Federal Reserve have global markets in panic mode. The key phrase “significant downside risks” used by the Fed is an observation that in and of itself is not breaking news. Aside from the forecasters at the White House, no one was expecting an optimistic view on economic growth.
The same could be said for the Fed acknowledging “strains in global financial markets.” Again – who hasn’t noticed that Europe has some issues?
I am not trying to trivialize this sell-off, or suggest anything other than (my longstanding) angst for the US and global economies. I am trying to draw a line between selling and panicking. When basically every market and asset class in the world drops 3% to 10% (with exception to Treasuries and the US dollar), it suggests that something major just caught the market by surprise.
The experts tells us not to pay attention to daily swings in the Dow 30 industrials, but there we are day after day, hanging on what it’s doing.
The Dow, as I write this, is down 419 points. I’m ruined. Worst it’s ever been. Panic, indeed. The Dow stands at 10,697.69. You’d have to go all the way back to August 10 to find a lower point.
If it closes that low, it will be the lowest the Dow has closed since one year ago tomorrow, when the recovery seemed to be holding, things were looking up, and our cups seemed half full.