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"Sleepwalking" Markets woke up this year. That's a good thing.



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If 2018 feels volatile to equity investors, it may be a reflection of how stylish 2017 was.

S & P 500 closed 1.6 percent Monday. The marked 53th day index has increased or decreased 1 percent or more this year. Including Monday's gain, 17 of these moves have come since the beginning of October, as concerns about trade, slow global economic growth and higher interest rates began to waste stocks.

It's not far from how things usually go with stocks. Since 1928, S & P 500 has averaged 62 days of movements that were 1 percent or higher per year, according to data from Howard Silverblatt, Senior Research Analyst for S & P Dow Jones Indices.

However, the 2018 move represents a significant uptake from 2017, as stocks rose steadily pending a cuts in corporate tax rates. Last year, it was only eight days when stocks rose or decreased by 1 percent or more. It's the lowest number of at least 15 years, "says Mr. Silverblatt.

Many stock market watches see the return on volatility as healthy and claim it serves as a reminder that the investment is risky and markets not only march higher. It can help prevent bubbles from forming.

"It feels just abnormal because investors and market participants root their expectations for the recent sleepy past," said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research.


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