`Weird' Market Lingers: Worst S&P 500 Drop in Month Is 0.2% Move

Aug 09, 2017 5:31 am ET

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s words of “fire and fury” sent the S&P 500 Index to its biggest slide in a month on Tuesday. That is ... a 0.2 percent drop.

The modest move in the face of rising geopolitical tensions underscores the quietude that has come to define the market. While many are warning that turmoil is poised to return, the S&P 500 is on course for its calmest month since August 1965, as it posts an average 0.18 percent daily move. The only other month with smaller swings was February 1964, after which the index went on to see its most placid year on record.

Of course, August 2017 is still young and things could grow more tense -- a looming deadline on the U.S. debt ceiling, the Federal Reserve’s September meeting and the annual gathering of policymakers at Jackson Hole are just a few of the events that strategists say could lead to more jitters. And today could yet see more losses, with markets in Asia and Europe falling and S&P 500 futures down 0.4 percent.

But given this year’s “very weird” markets, it remains to be seen what -- if anything -- will succeed in shaking off the current lull. So far in 2017, the S&P 500 has posted moves of yesterday’s magnitude or smaller on 58 percent of trading days, the most on record.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.