Barely a Bear: Wall Street Exits Down Market After Running 20% Higher
NEW YORK (AP) While it seemed scary and interminable, the bear market that Wall Street just exited turned out to be meeker than most.
After the S&P 500 on Thursday closed at a level more than 20% above where it was in mid-October, Wall Street can give official dates for the birth and death of its last bear market, which is what traders call a long decline of at least 20% for the S&P 500. It started on Jan. 3, 2022, when the S&P 500 set a record high, and ended on Oct. 12, when it bottomed out 25.4% lower.
Worries about the highest inflation in generations drove the drop. More precisely, it was worries about what the Federal Reserve would do to combat high inflation. The Fed furiously jacked rates up to their highest level since 2007, up from virtually zero in about a year. The aim of high interest rates is to lower inflation by slowing the entire economy and dragging down prices for stocks, bonds and other investments.