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Monday's stock market declines weren't unexpected, though the extent of losses was shocking.
Investors had been selling stocks for the previous two weeks on coronavirus fears, starting immediately after U.S. benchmark indexes made record highs on Feb. 12, 2020.
A "dead cat bounce" last week didn't fool seasoned traders, who saw huge inflows into U.S. Treasuries last week as a warning sign there was more equity selling to come.
As COVID-19 hotspots cropped up across the globe and infections rose along with fatalities in U.S. cities and states over the weekend, right on cue, sell orders flooded brokerages before markets even opened Monday morning.
So many sell orders in fact, markets couldn't open. Instantaneous and extraordinary selling knocked stocks "down limit," or 7%, at the open, triggering a "circuit breaker" halt to trading for 15 minutes.
But buying volume was thin all day, and sellers more often overwhelmed attempts to lift stocks higher.
Stocks closed 144 points off their session lows of 2,158, ending down 2,013.76 points to 23,851.02. That's a 7.79% drop in one day and a 19.3% drop since Feb. 12.
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About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.