Thanksgiving week was not supposed to be like this. Normally things are slow in the days leading up to Thanksgiving as investors prepare to gorge themselves with turkey and stuffing as they gather with family and friends. But this year the stock market is crashing, and Wall Street is in panic mode. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,465.64, which is nearly 2,500 points lower than the all-time high of 26,951.81 that was set in early October. But as I noted yesterday, what has been happening to tech stocks is even more dramatic. Each one of the FAANG stocks is now down by more than 20 percent, and they have combined to lose more than a trillion dollars in value. We haven’t seen anything like this since the financial crisis of 2008, and at this point all of Wall Street’s gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out.
These large stock market declines are starting to become a regular thing, and tech stocks are getting hit particularly hard. But we have been in a bull market for such a long time that many investors are having a difficult time comprehending what is happening. Many just keep believing that their beloved tech stocks will eventually bounce back because they just can’t accept the fact that the party is over. At this point, all of the “FANG stocks” have officially entered bear market territory. Facebook is down 39.5 percent from their 52 week high, Amazon is down 25.4 percent, Netflix is down 35.6 percent and Google is down 20.3 percent. And since many throw in Apple to make the acronym “FAANG”, we should also note that Apple’s stock price is now down more than 20 percent from the peak. The tech stock crash that so many have been waiting for has arrived, and many analysts believe that it is going to get a whole lot worse.
We have definitely deviated from the script. According to virtually all of the “experts”, the stock market was not supposed to keep plummeting in November. This was supposed to be the month when the market calmed down and things returned to normal. But instead, November is starting to look a whole lot like October, and many investors are really starting to freak out. U.S. stocks declined for a third day in a row on Monday, and all post-election gains have now been completely wiped out. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 602 points, and all of these large daily losses are really starting to add up. It may still be a bit too early to call this a “major financial crisis”, but if stock prices keep plunging like this it won’t be too long before all hell starts breaking loose on Wall Street.
Stocks are falling again, and many believe that this new crisis is only just beginning. After a disappointing end to last week, a lot of investors were hoping for a bounce to start this week, but so far that has not materialized. As I write this article, all the big markets in Asia are down, and it looks like it is going be be a rough morning for Wall Street. Of course we probably won’t see too much movement as global markets wait to see what happens on Tuesday, and those results could potentially move things up or down substantially. Ultimately, I have a feeling that Wall Street will not be too happy if control of Congress is divided, because that would almost certainly mean that very little will get accomplished in Washington for the next two years. Instead, we will likely see even more bickering and fighting than we are seeing now.
What goes up must eventually come down. For years, the California housing market was on the cutting edge of “Housing Bubble 2” as we witnessed home prices in the state soar to absolutely absurd levels. In fact, it got so bad that a burned down house in Silicon Valley sold for $900,000 earlier this year, and a condemned home in Fremont sold for $1.2 million. But now things have changed in a major way. The hottest real estate markets in the entire country led the way down during the collapse of “Housing Bubble 1”, and now it looks like the same thing is going to be true for the sequel.
This was an October that many of us will never forget. The month of October is typically the most volatile month of the year for stocks, and that was definitely the case in 2018. It was the worst month for the S&P 500 in 7 years, and it was the worst month for the Nasdaq in almost 10 years. But the damage could have been much worse if we had not seen a bounce the last two trading days of the month. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 241 points, and investors are hoping that this is a sign that things are starting to settle down a bit. And hopefully things will be calmer in November, because things were so chaotic in October that the month has already been branded “Red October” by the mainstream media…
We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is rapidly disappearing. According to a shocking new study that was just released, 62 percent of all jobs in the United States do not pay enough to support a middle class life. That means that “the American Dream” is truly out of reach for most of the country at this point. Today, Americans are working harder than ever but the cost of living continues to rise much faster than our paychecks are increasing. Earlier this month, I went and looked at the latest numbers from the Social Security Administration, and I discovered that 50 percent of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year. But that is just above poverty level. In fact, the federal poverty level for a family of five is currently $29,420. Most families are just barely scraping by from month to month, and most U.S. workers are just one major setback away from falling out of the middle class.
We continue to see extremely wild swings on Wall Street. On Monday, at one point the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 352 points, and then later it was down 566 points. At the closing bell the Dow had officially lost 245 points, and all of this extreme volatility is making investors very nervous. Investors like markets that are predictable, because it is a whole lot easier to make money when things move in a predictable fashion. When things get crazy, a lot of investors pull their money out and wait until things settle down in the marketplace, and that definitely makes a lot of sense. Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty about where things are ultimately headed. Some experts believe that the bull market will resume after this “correction” is over, but others believe that a bear market has now begun. And as you will see below, the fact that the S&P 500 has now broken a major trendline that has not been broken since 2009 is strengthening the case of the latter group.
Will we someday look back on October 2018 as the turning point? As the month began, people were generally feeling pretty good about things, and the U.S. stock market quickly set a new all-time high. But from that point on, the wheels fell off for Wall Street. We just witnessed the worst October for U.S. stocks since the financial crisis of 2008, and at this point more than 8 trillion dollars of global wealth has been completely wiped out. But it isn’t just the stock market that is being shaken. The horrific violence in Pittsburgh is just the latest in a string of events that have rattled the entire nation. Sometimes I feel like I am literally watching the fabric of our society come apart right in front of my eyes. It is almost as if there is a tangible presence of evil in the air, and it seems to be getting stronger over time. For quite a while I have been warning that levels of anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels, and all of that anger and frustration is leading people to do things that are absolutely unthinkable. And if people are this crazed now, how bad are things going to get once the economy really starts unraveling?
It’s not over. The worst October stock market crash since 2008 got even worse on Friday. The Dow was down another 296 points, the S&P 500 briefly dipped into correction territory, and it was another bloodbath for tech stocks. On Wednesday, I warned that there would be a bounce, and we saw that happen on Thursday. But the bounce didn’t extend into Friday. Instead, we witnessed another wave of panic selling, and that has many investors extremely concerned about what will happen next week. Overall, global stocks have now fallen for five weeks in a row, and during that time more than 8 trillion dollars in global wealth has been wiped out. That is the fastest plunge in global stock market wealth since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and it is yet another confirmation that a major turning point has arrived.