Investors may be feeling unnerved from the recent roller coaster ride in the markets.
Though stocks managed to close last week with modest gains after improving economic data and soothing comments from central bankers, U.S. equities experienced their most volatile week in years on continued concerns over China, global growth and deflation. The VIX Index, which measures U.S. equity market volatility, spiked to more than 50, the highest reading since the 2008 financial crisis.
However, as I write in my latest weekly commentary, “Keeping Firm Perspective as Markets Gyrate,” it’s important to maintain perspective. Recent U.S. economic data—including a solid July durable goods report and a sharp upward revision to second quarter gross domestic product (GDP)—paint a comforting picture, confirming a longer-term trend: The U.S. economy is still in relatively decent shape.
Despite fears over a China-led slowdown, the U.S. continues to demonstrate economic resilience. Put another way, for all the market’s twists and turns, and despite the economy’s headwinds and travails, this isn’t 2008.
A quick refresher: While stocks peaked in the fall of 2007, markets didn’t really start their meltdown until the following spring. By then, according to Bloomberg data, there were already several indicators flashing red, not only for the market but for the broader economy. For example, by May of 2008, leading economic indicators had been consistently falling for nearly two years, new orders data had been contracting for six months and unemployment had been rising for 18 months.