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Global stock market turmoil: What's going on?

Stock markets around the world are falling, driven by fears coming out of the U.S.Major indexes in New York, T...

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 12:45 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2018 12:45 PM

Stock markets around the world are falling, driven by fears coming out of the U.S.

Major indexes in New York, Tokyo and London have suffered steep losses. And a key gauge of investors' fear spiked to its highest level in more than two years.

Analysts are trying to figure out if it's a short-term correction for markets that had recently hit record highs or a sign of deeper concerns.

Here's what you need to know:

What's happening?

Markets in Asia and Europe are falling Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei plunged 4.7%, Hong Kong stocks plummeted 5.1% and London's FTSE 100 was down nearly 2%.

Those drops follow a harrowing day for investors on Monday in the U.S., where the Dow plummeted 1,175 points, or 4.6%. It was the index's biggest ever point decline in a single day.

Related: Market fear is back in a big way

Tuesday looks set to be another tough trading session on Wall Street. Dow futures were swinging wildly ahead of the open.

Why is it happening?

There are a bunch of concerns fueling the selling.

One is the worry that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than previously expected. That was triggered by U.S. jobs data on Friday that showed wage growth is picking up -- which could mean faster inflation.

When interest rates rise sharply, stocks often fall. Higher rates can eat into corporate profits. Rising rates and inflation can also cause ructions in bond markets.

Related: This is why the Dow is plunging

Experts have warned repeatedly in recent months that both stock and bond markets were getting too hot. And some analysts say the current losses could even be a good thing.

"This correction is a healthy development for the markets in the long run, and the equity bull market, while bloodied, is not broken," Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners, wrote in a research note Monday.

Why are U.S. issues affecting global markets?

The U.S. is the world's largest economy and home to the biggest financial markets on the planet. The dollar is the currency of reference for investors around the world.

What happens on Wall Street almost inevitably ripples around the globe. Markets in other global financial centers, like London and Tokyo, are particularly sensitive to it.

But more closed systems, like China, are often less heavily affected. Stocks in Shanghai are down 2.2% since Thursday compared with 8% in Tokyo.

How worried should you be?

It depends who you ask. But assuming the current stock market declines are a short-term drop rather than a sign of deeper problems, financial experts generally say you shouldn't panic.

Even if stocks continue to decline over the next few days, market corrections are normal, Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst, said Monday.

Related: The Dow just lost 4.6%. What does that mean for you?

The U.S. and other major economies are growing healthily at the moment.

"I caution investors to really be patient here and look for opportunities and not to panic," Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, said on CNN. "It's really not a time to be worried about the long-term prospects of the market."

What does this have to do with Trump?

The plunging stock market is awkward for President Trump. He's frequently taken credit for the big run-up in U.S. share prices during his presidency.

"It's a risky game to talk about the markets. But it seems like Trump is going to live or die by the stock market," said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments.

The White House said in a statement that Trump was focused on "our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong." The statement cited strengthening economic growth, low unemployment and increasing wages for workers.

Related: Market mayhem puts Trump in a tough spot

But some of Trump's policies also feed into the concerns weighing stocks at the moment.

The recent huge tax cuts for businesses were initially cheered by investors. But they also prescribed expensive medicine to an already healthy U.S. economy.

Stimulating a strong economy could be too much of a good thing. Morgan Stanley warned in the fall that "overheating" the economy may backfire by causing stocks to "boom then bust."

And the current stresses in the bond market reflect the concerns that the U.S. Treasury needs to take on more debt to pay for the tax cuts.

-- Matt Egan, Sherisse Pham, David Goldman and Kathryn Vasel contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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