Ready for another wild stocks ride?

Feb 09, 2018
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange moments before the Closing Bell Thursday in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

Stocks started strong but they’re falling now. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 240 points shortly before 1 p.m., a decline of more than 1 percent. 

But before 1, the pace of decline seemed to be slowing. 

The Nasdaq index is also down, close to 89 points or about 1.2 percent. 

ORIGINAL REPORT:

Investors are bracing themselves for another stocks wide ride — perhaps even another freefall — Friday morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened Friday up about 1 percent or approximately 300 points.

But is a free fall on Friday possible?

The only possible answer is: Nobody knows.

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“Markets are almost impossible to forecast, no matter what anyone says,” said Shaun Bond, a professor of finance and real estate at the University of Cincinnati.

Markets overseas appeared to be joining U.S. stocks in correction territory or were at least heading in that direction. Global equity benchmarks were poised to cap their worst week in years, the Wall Street Journal and others said.

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A “correction” is a Wall Street term for when a broad stock index like the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Nasdaq falls 10 percent from its most-recent high. The Dow fell 1,032.89 points Thursday to 23,860.46, which is 10.4 percent below its record close of 26,616.71 set January 26.

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Experts say investors are eyeing the prospect of inflation growing at a rate of more than two percent, with accompanying higher interest rates, all making money more expensive at a time when a growing economy needs money.

“That will reduce corporate profitability, if borrowing prices go up,” Bond said.

And the market may also be responding to investor “expectations,” he said.

Certainly over the last 10 years, market-watchers have expected higher interest rates and inflation to rise — but those measures actually haven’t so far, not in any dramatic way, he noted.

“We’ve been at historically low levels for such a long time, I think there’s a sense we’ll start to see normalized interest rates,” Bond said.

For stock prices, “you’re going to look at average lower returns in the future.”

“There are going to be good days and bad days,” he said.