Pre-markets are clawing back from another big down-leg to close out the trading week Friday, where all major indexes fell in excess of another 2%. Fears of more surprise developments in a burgeoning trade war with China built a significant part of the wall of worry. As of this morning, 7 of 11 sectors in the S&P 500 are in correction territory. The Nasdaq is clinging to overall gains in 2018, while the Dow is -3.2% since January 2nd.
Market volatility has been most palpable over the past 2 months, beginning in early February when increases in wage growth spiked inflation concerns, which brought market analysts to the conclusion that the Fed would turn hawkish on interest rates. Since then, we've had plenty of logs added to stoke the fire: trade tariffs, nuclear warhead threats with North Korea and social media security issues have all helped intensify volatility, which has thus far pushed indexes to the downside.
Tomorrow we'll see Facebook FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear before both House and Senate panels on reports of 50 million, 87 million or more Facebook users having their personal information accessed illegally by British political media firm Cambridge Analytica. How Zuckerberg surmises this development - including perhaps walking back initial comments he made in the press about the data breach - as well as what the company plans to do going forward will be featured topics. Facebook shares are down 13% in the last month.
Twenty minutes before the opening bell to kick off a new trading week, see the S&P 500 +11 points, the Dow +145 and the Nasdaq +40. European markets have quietly gone up over the past two weeks, so perhaps we're seeing a silver lining as the global scenario clouds over U.S.-China trade war concerns. In the current market environment, keep in mind single actions can sway vast upswings and downswings; in 11 of the past 12 sessions, the Dow has moved triple-digits.
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