Feb. 9, 2010
-- Stock markets are plummeting amid concerns surrounding European budget deficits, China’s plans to curb economic growth, and proposals for regulatory changes in Washington. The fears aren't as intense as in 2008, when the S&P 500 fell 38.5 percent. But January was the worst month for the market since it began its recovery last March, report Tortola Capital investment advisors. And the S&P 500 has fallen 7.3 percent from the high of 1,150.23 it reached Jan. 19.
Nothing terrible has happened, either in Europe, where economies have been struggling for some time, or in Washington. It was expected that the Obama administration would try to restrict big banks. Instead, investors now have much more to lose than they did a year ago, so they sell at the first sense of a problem. Despite its recent losses, the S&P 500 is still up 58 percent since hitting bottom March 9.
Analysts at Tortola Capital report that these reactions are probably exaggerating the problems in Europe. They are, however, a window into more serious concerns about what they want to see from the world's economies. "The market is going not going to be allayed by signs of recovery, they're going to be looking for signs of sustainability,"
reports Clayton Emerson, VP of Business development at Tortola Capital, citing Anthony Chan, chief economist at J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management.