Stock Market’s Massive Moves Not Seen Since Great Recession

Édouard Riou [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Talk about the market busting a move. In less than half a month, the Trump Rally lost a third of the gain it had developed over a period of sixteen months — the worst two-week drop since February 2009. (The market’s moves are so extreme by many measures that the Great Recession is the closest touchstone one can find to assess the last two weeks of market action.)

Most of the plummeting happened in two record-breaking 1,000-point plunges with the total fall taking all indices into the red for 2018. The remaining two-thirds of the Trump Rally remains in peril as the market probes downward to potentially test its 200-day moving average, with the Dow having readily broken through the 50-day and 100-day and now testing its 150-day average:

A break through the 200-day moving average would likely trigger an even larger sell-off as the last major technical support gives way. To give some perspective on the cliff we just leaped off of, look at every move from the cliff-dive into the Great Recession to the present:

A picture’s worth a thousand words. That’s the plunge so far, but one of the things I said would make the difference between a normal correction of top-heavy prices and an all-out crash would be how much momentum the downdraft developed — enough momentum and the dive will be hard to stop. Well, this just in:

That’s “ever”. Not just worst since we crashed into the Great Recession (which we are still in, as far as I’m concerned, as we have merely existed, propped up on life support while all flaws of the Great Recession remained). Clearly, this fall is already equal in steepness and depth to the worst the Great Recession had to offer and greater than any drop since.

And look at that rocket ride in volume (middle set of graphs) from the placid years of the “Recovery” to spikes in volume that rival the Great Recession. To me the last leg up on the Trump Rally looks like hyperventilating euphoria followed by an hysteria-inducing rush to the exits to me. I think a ride in a catapult that doesn’t let go and just slams you into the ground might be more fun. And the trajectory would look about like those last two up-and-down legs of the graph.

A bigger concern than downward momentum might be the domino effect: A drop one week stabilizes and the market rises a little, but that drop took out one or two companies. The next week we discover some companies associated with those companies that went down also go down, so the market gets scared and falls again …or we find certain points in the market have been reached that trigger larger mandatory actions by institutional funds or other big investors, dropping the market another big jog. The Jenga puzzle starts coming apart block by block, week after week until the whole thing crashes catastrophically.

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