Rally hit bump in September, the worst month for S&P 500 since 2020
Markets are closing out the quarter on a tumultuous note.
Stocks have pulled back from all-time highs. Shares of large, fast-growing companies are heading toward their worst month since the pandemic-fueled selloff of March 2020, and Treasury yields have shot up to their highest level since June.
It is hardly the sanguine end to the quarter that investors had hoped for. Many money managers say they are heading into the final few months of the year feeling on edge.
Central bankers who had thought this year’s rise in inflation would wind up being a short-term phenomenon aren’t sure how long transitory pressures will persist. Strategists who had predicted another strong quarter of economic growth are cutting estimates because of supply-chain bottlenecks and the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19. Economic data have also been falling short of expectations. Citigroup’s Economic Surprise Index, which tracks how much U.S. reports have been exceeding or undershooting estimates, fell this month to its lowest level since June 2020.
Wall Street has been a booming place over the past year and a half even as the wider US economy has suffered — a trend that an entire generation of young investors has both noticed, and cashed in on.
Known as the YOLO generation — after the saying “you only live once” — the good fortune these new entrants to stock trading have had is sometimes viewed with skepticism by older investors who have seen the market boom and bust in the past.
There’s also the fact that young traders are some of the most eager proponents of soaring “meme stocks” like GameStop and AMC.
Outsiders may dismiss investors under the age of 35 as dangerously optimistic, but they generally see themselves as better informed than their elders and ready for anything — even a crash.