Stocks have been on a torrid sell-off over the past week or so capitulating today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) dropping over 460 points intraday, then rebounding to close down 173.45 points. At least I think this could of been a capitulation day, maybe not? That said, this is the steepest intraday drop for the industrials in over three years. Same rings true for the Nasdaq (chart), this technology based index was down over 100 points intraday only to rebound closing down a modest 12 points. Also, the S&P 500 (chart) finished the day lower by 15 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) after being down sharply most of the day actually closed in the green by 10.85 points.
In my previous blog, I eluded to the fact that volatility is back and that Q3 earnings reporting was about to begin, so not only is volatility back, I believe it is here to stay for an extended period of time. And as far as earnings is concerned, now I am not so sure if this earnings reporting season will have a positive effect on the markets. Just take a look at bank stocks which began to report their results this week and even after their impressive quarterly results, their stocks got pulled down with the rest of the market. What’s more, for companies that miss their numbers in this type of environment, look out below. Perfect example here is Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX). After the bell, the company reported their quarterly results which missed analysts expectations and Netflix also guided lower for the upcoming quarter. The net result for their stock is a blood bath in after-hours trading. Netflix is down over $110 points, trading now in the $330 range. This is not a typo. It goes back to stocks that miss on their numbers or guide lower, these assets will be taken out to the woodshed first, and asked questions later. I believe this is the environment we now find ourselves in.
It has been years since we have seen this type of market environment and I certainly will not forget the steep market sell-offs of the past. Furthermore, most every financial pundit out there has been calling for a market correction and now you have got it. So I would expect once the dust settles here we should find a base of support at some point and begin to see stabilization in the marketplace. However, and as I mentioned above, I do expect volatility to be back to normalized levels and be around for a while, so if you choose to take any new positions on, most likely they will go lower before they go higher, so a scale in and small incremental approach might be best. Finally and especially now, it’s usually a good idea to consult with a trusted certified financial planner(s) before composing any investment strategy. Good luck to all, and Paula and I wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween 🙂