Stocks return to Earth, with the S&P 500 approaching a bear market

But the downdraft has plunged the share prices of companies that represent innovation and also the future; Amazon is down more than 30 per cent since the start of the year and Google parent Alphabet is down about 20 per cent as investors reconsider the real value of those companies.

Virtually no stock has been spared losses. The market decline has “gone on and on, and it’s depressing,” Hill said.

Perhaps no one understood that emotional symbolism of the market better than Trump.

“The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me,” Trump said in November 2017, one of many statements in which he bragged about rising stock prices or publicly pressured the Federal Reserve. to lower interest rates even further to stimulate the economy.

Early in the pandemic, in April 2020, with stores, offices, and churches closed, children left at home trying to go to school remotely, and morgues with no room for virus victims, Trump tweeted that America had “ the largest stock market rise since 1974.”

While most Americans have some money invested in the stock market, it’s still a rich people’s game. According to an analysis by New York University economics professor Edward Wolff, the top 5 percent of American wealth holders own 72 percent of all stocks.

But the symbolic value of the stock market matters. “It’s the story that’s on the news every night,” said Richard Sylla, an emeritus professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Is the market up or down? Are we winning or losing today, this week, this year, this presidency?

On Friday, the University of Michigan consumer confidence index fell lower than expected, a drop that some economists attribute in part to stock market losses. The index is now 13 points below the low when Covid first hit, noted Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Such deep pessimism “suggests that people have short memories,” Shepherdson wrote in a research note.

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