It’s official: The U.S. stock market has entered correction territory. The 100 point drop on the S&P 500 on Thursday to 2,581 was down 10.1% from the high of 2,872.87. The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 1,032 point drop to 23,860.46 on Thursday put the Dow down over 10.3% from the high of 26,616.71 high in late January.
The S&P 500 is down only about 3.5% from the 2,673.61 close at the end of 2017, and Dow is down a less worrisome 3.5% from the close of 24,719.22 registered at the end of 2017.
While drops of 10% sound atrocious, we have to keep in mind that the drops come as the bull market was one month shy of nine years old. We also have to note that the Dow rose about 25% in 2017 and the S&P 500 was up more than 19% in 2017. The major indexes were up about 300% from the panic selling lows of March 2009. And the U.S. markets had not seen a 5% correction since the start of 2016, when the market had some of the same fears and worries that it has today.
On top of looking at what’s going on inside the U.S. markets, the good news is that the United States is actually faring better off than some of the key markets in Asia. 24/7 Wall St. tracked some of the major equity indexes in local currencies to track moves at their own exchanges.
As of Friday morning, all 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks were down for the past five trading days, and the lowest loss was Walmart at 5.2% and the worst was Exxon Mobil at 14.6%. The miserable General Electric was the worst stock of the year, with a drop of 17.2%. For the year, JPMorgan, Cisco and Walmart each still had gains of roughly 1%, but Boeing was still up over 11% year to date. As of Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 had just four positive performing stocks for the past five days, and there were just 125 of the 500 components up year to date.
The FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom was last seen down over 30 points at 7,140, and that is down 7.1% from the close of 7,687.80 at the end of 2017. The FTSE 100 was also down about 8.4% from this year’s high of 7,792.60.
The XETRA DAX in Germany was down over 18 points at 12,242 in midday trading in Europe, and that is down over 5% from the 12,917.64 close at the end of 2017. It is currently down about 10% from the January 23 high of 13,596.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 508 points to 21,382 on Friday, 6.1% lower than the 22,764.94 close at the end of 2017. The Nikkei is still down over 11.3% from the January 23 high of 24,129.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was down 944 points at 29,507 on Friday, and that is down 1.4% from the close of 29,919 at the end of 2017. Still, that is down almost 12% from high of 33,484 on January 29. The SSE Composite Index in Shanghai, China, was down over 132 points (over 4%) at roughly 3,129.85 on Friday. That is down roughly 5.4% from the 3,307 close at the end of 2017, but it’s down just over 12% from the 3,559 high close on January 24. One interesting tidbit to see was that Chinese inflation moderated in January to its lowest levels in seven months.
The S&P BSE SENSEX, the Bombay Stock Exchange key index in Mumbai, India, was last seen trading down over 407 points at 34,005 on Friday. That is right in line with the 34.056 close at the end of 2017. This is still down over 6% from the high of almost 36,444 from January 29. India has been projected to be the highest growth emerging market in terms of gross domestic product in 2018.
24/7 Wall St. has been keeping an eye on the inner workings of the markets in 2018. It’s been a wild ride, but it looks far worse in the past two weeks than it looks compared to the larger bear market and when compared to some of the other growth markets in Asia.
Keep a watch out as 24/7 Wall St. identifies a half dozen or more metrics you need to note for that the financial media is not really keeping a close eye on. This sell-off is a larger story than “volatility” and valuations running into rising interest rates.