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US Stocks Drop Sharply Amid Global Growth Concerns

Key Wall Street indexes fell sharply on Wednesday as new economic data from the U.S. added to concerns about the health of the global economy. Although benchmark indexes later recovered from their session lows, the losses threatened to wipe out most of the gains made this year. The volatility is a normal part of a healthy market - but experts say the market is overdue for a major correction.

It’s been a tough week on Wall Street. But if worries over the health of the global economy, Ebola, and the Islamic State group were not enough - on Wednesday - weak data on U.S. manufacturing and retail sales - pushed benchmark indexes more than two percent lower. Against a backdrop of a slowing global economy, senior financial adviser Greg McBride at says it was enough to spook investors.

“Particularly whenever there’s concerns about growth around the globe, when you get a disappointing number or just a less than impressive number here in the U.S., investors tend to focus on that a little bit too much and kind of look at the glass as half empty instead of being half full,” says McBride.

Stock prices saw a partial recovery later in the day. But McBride says we may be seeing the beginnings of a stock market correction - which by definition is a 10 percent pullback from a market high.

“We're currently about eight percent off the market high that was established about a month ago, so we're on track for a correction - which is healthy. I mean markets just don’t go up and up and up without the occasional pullback, so this is the type of thing I think is ultimately healthy,” says McBride.

Key U.S. benchmarks have not seen a pullback of more than 10 percent in more than three years.

But McBride says there’s no reason to panic.

“The economic fundamentals here in the U.S. are pretty solid so I think short term issues aside, if you’re in this for the long haul, this is actually a very attractive buying opportunity.”

With U.S. companies reporting earnings this week, McBride says investors are likely to look at new data with a microscope, meaning investors should expect more volatility in coming weeks.