Market volatility is back as stocks slide on Fed rate hike fears

The Dow fell 400 points shortly after the opening bell Friday, a drop of around 1.2%, before recovering a bit. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were notably lower as well.
Bullard, who does not have a say on the Fed’s policy committee this year but will have a vote in 2022, also said in the interview that the Fed is also starting to discuss the idea of tapering, or cutting back, its bond purchases.
Wall Street is worried about inflation. But investors are also nervous about the Fed taking away the stimulus it injected into the market during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These market gyrations could become more routine, which may alarm investors who have gotten used to more calm on Wall Street.

It’s actually been an unusually quiet first half of 2021 — despite the craziness with meme stocks like AMC (AMC) and GameStop (GME) and the big moves in bitcoin (XBT) and other cryptocurrencies.
If you look at the broader stock market, and the VIX (VIX) volatility index in particular, 2021 has been serene for investors.

The VIX, which many investors refer to as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” is now hovering around the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020. It’s been steadily declining since peaking in March of last year. The VIX has fallen nearly 15% in 2021.

But the VIX spiked more than 10% Friday morning, and some experts warn that the summer and latter half of 2021 could be a bit bumpier than the first six months of the year.


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