Equity benchmarks fell in Tokyo, and saw modest gains in Sydney and Seoul after the S&P 500 Index erased a drop of almost 3 percent in its afternoon rebound -- the biggest upward reversal since 2010. It’s been a week of superlatives for stock traders, after American shares climbed the most in more than nine years on Wednesday. In other markets, 10-year Treasury yields held below 2.80 percent, and oil traded around $45 in New York.
“From a time perspective, it’s a historic bull market and when you get that far into the cycle, people get more jittery,” said Sean O’Hara, president at Pacer ETFs. “It’s hard to explain moves” like the ones recently seen, he said.
The S&P 500 has been careening toward its worst month of the record bull run and is down about 15 percent in the quarter as everything from higher interest rates to political turmoil in Washington to concern about global growth hammer at investor sentiment. Havens came back in vogue, with Treasuries rallying this month, and gold climbing with the yen.
The euphoria of equity investors evaporated earlier from Wednesday, when investors cheered a reminder of the American consumer’s strength and got reassurance on the tenure of the Federal Reserve chief and progress on U.S.-China trade talks. While there was no obvious catalyst for the return to selling that took stocks within a whisker of a bear market, the moves of the past few days sent volatility soaring.- Bloomberg
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