The S&P 500 has lost all of the gains it has made since Joe Biden was sworn in as president.
The market index, on Monday, closed down 151 points at 3,749.84, notably below the 3,798.91 level, which is where it closed on Jan. 19, 2021. (The Dow and Nasdaq indexes long ago fell below the pre-inauguration levels of 31,930 and 13,197, respectively.)
Monday’s market plunge put the S&P back in bear market territory and hit a new 52-week low. It was part of a broader financial downturn that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall 876 points and Nasdaq tumble 530.
Cryptocurrencies were in free fall Monday as well, with Bitcoin losing 15% of its value and Ethereum plunging more than 16%.
The drops come as the 2-year Treasury yield rose to its highest level since 2007, a signal that investors believe the Federal Reserve might have to take even more aggressive actions to control inflation. At one point in the session, the 2-year traded above the 10-year yield, resulting in a yield curve inversion, which many see as a precursor of a recession.
The volatility comes after one of Wall Street’s worst weeks of the year since January. (The Dow lost 880 points on Friday.)
The S&P receding to pre-Biden levels is something market watchers have been keeping an eye on as the market has fluctuated wildly in recent months, but could be an additional pressure on Biden and Democrats as the midterm elections near. Investor sentiment is still negative after Friday’s higher-than-expected inflation report, which could keep the pressure on markets as recession fears have increased.
The Federal Reserve begins its latest two-day policy meeting Tuesday and is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point. Some Fed watchers, though, are speculating a more aggressive action might be necessary following Friday’s inflation numbers.
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