The stock market, which ended the week in a particularly unpleasant fashion after worries about China’s economic future reached a fever pitch, has not seen its fortunes improve on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,000 points as soon as the day began — although it managed to rebound a little shortly after — and many European stock markets saw the worst day of trading in years. The Shanghai Composite Index plummeted by more than 8 percent, basically erasing the gains it had made this year. Altogether, according to the New York Times, nearly $10 trillion has evaporated from the markets since June 3.
The financial whiplash has many wondering whether the Federal Reserve is actually about to raise interest rates in September. According to the Times, “Futures markets are increasingly betting that the Fed will indeed hold off to assess the damage to the economy, if any, from the latest global financial strains. On Monday, the market priced in a 24 percent chance of a rate increase in September, compared with a 48 percent chance just a week ago.”
If you’re looking for something positive in all these dizzying drops and losses, NPR points out that gas and food prices are down — but also that scary-looking 401(k)s and headlines might not encourage people to buy them. Right now, everything is uncertain — is this the sign of something serious, as Larry Summers warns, or simply the stock market making amends with reality? — and many argue that means that you definitely should not not let emotions get to you, and stay far away from the retirement savings. Donald Trump advises that this news means you should definitely vote for him.
The only thing that is definitively booming at the moment is the market for photographs of very worried people staring at stock numbers.