Friday, August 21, 2015

Markets Fall

NBC reports:
Stocks were clobbered Friday on Wall Street — a brutal finish to the worst week in the market in four years. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 530 points, the ninth-biggest point decline in its history.

Investors worried about signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy that could hammer companies and countries around the world. The stock of Apple, which depends heavily on demand from China, fell more than 6 percent.

The Dow finished at 16,459. It fell more than 1,000 points this week alone and is down more than 10 percent from its all-time high in May — the definition of a market correction. That has not happened in four years.

The Dow's decline for the day came to 3.1 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, a broader gauge of the stock market, finished down 3.2 percent and closed below 2,000 for the first time since early this year.

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In percentage terms, the decline on Friday was nowhere close to the worst of all time. On Black Monday in 1987, when the Dow fell 508 points, it represented a 22 percent decline.
Currencies have also tumbled, with Bloomberg stating:
 First China, then Vietnam, then Kazakhstan removed their pegs, exacerbating a rout in emerging-market currencies to reach record lows. Malaysia’s ringgit weakened to a 17-year low, the worst developing-nation performance this month after Russia’s ruble. Colombia, where oil is the biggest export, also saw its peso weaken to an all-time low.
The decline in the currencies of developing countries is primarily a result of the decline in China's demand for raw commodities. That, in turn, is related to reduced consumer demand from the United States.

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