The Dow had a terrible Friday, and Monday was far worse. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1,175 points—the largest single-day point drop in its history—to close at 24,345, per the AP. And it could been have been ever rougher: At one point in the afternoon, the index was down nearly 1,600 points. The other major indexes didn't fare much better. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, fell 113 points, or 4.1%, to 2,648, and the Nasdaq fell 273, or 3.8%, to 6,967. The Dow's loss amounted 4.6%. Two big factors: The Wall Street Journal blames investor fears about rising inflation and the increasing likelihood that the Fed will again raise interest rates.
“The panicky selloff (to 1,600 down) and partial recovery was driven by algorithmic programs, because humans don’t make decisions that fast," Kim Caughey Forrest of Fort Pitt Capital Group tells MarketWatch. “It’s a mini flash crash. To be honest, we were getting uncomfortable by the relentless rally, so this market now seems a lot more normal." The two-day losses have wiped out all of the gains for 2018. Market pros have been predicting a pullback for some time, noting that declines of 10% or more are common during bull markets. There hasn't been one in two years, and by many measures stocks had been looking expensive.