US stock markets bounced back following the flash crash on Monday but the Dow still ended the session down 4.6%, having suffered the largest one day points loss ever. The Dow shedded more than 1,500 points at one stage, a large chunk of which occurred in a very short period of time.
Naturally there is a lot of questions being asked about the role of automated trading in the collapse and I’m sure the discussion will happen over the coming days but the important thing is that markets have recovered from the initial shock, while at the same time losing a considerable amount in the process.
With this being the second consecutive session in which we’ve had heavy selling, traders are looking for reasons for the decline and whether further downside is to come. Higher yields on the expectation that interest rates will rise faster than expected has been blamed until now and could be responsible for what will hopefully prove to be a brief and healthy correction.
Still, this is unlikely to be what Jerome Powell was hoping when he started his tenure as Fed Chair and already people are asking questions about whether investors were getting ahead of themselves in expecting three or more rate hikes this year. Once the dust settles we’ll surely have a much better idea of whether higher rate expectations are truly to blame for these suddenly shaky markets and a storming return for volatility.