Economy

Financial Markets Swoon On Bad News Cluster

John Urbanowicz

The obligatory bad-day-on-Wall-Street photo. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Drew/AP

Wednesday was another bad day for all of us hoping that our 401(k)s will actually start to show solid growth again sometime before our retirement in the next 30 years or so.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.5 percent to 10378.83 in response to a series of bad economic news stories which actually started Tuesday with the Federal Reserve's statement that the economic recovery was losing momentum.

Sophisticated investors normally known for their hair-trigger reaction to any bad economic or financial news seemed to need overnight to process the central bank statement.

It was the much watched average's biggest percentage drop in nearly a month. Meanwhile, the decline left stocks in negative territory for the year.

Meanwhile, Wednesday brought more bad news — a disappointing U.S. trade report and indications the Chinese economy was slowing.

So it was a bad day in global financial markets for millions of investors.

An excerpt from a Bloomberg News story captures the sense of retreat in financial markets:

The Federal Reserve’s statement yesterday that the recovery is weakening and would require fresh stimulus was followed by an announcement that China’s industrial output rose the least in 11 months, adding to signs that the world’s third-biggest economy is slowing. The selloff today halted a rally in stocks that restored almost $4 trillion to global equity markets between July 5 and yesterday.

“We’re in a worldwide soft patch and investors wonder why the Fed didn’t do more,” said James Swanson, chief investment strategist at Boston-based MFS Investment Management, which oversees about $197 billion. “People are dumping stocks because they’re afraid earnings will decelerate and the economy is losing steam.”

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