S&P, Dow Headed for Worst “Grinch” December Since Great Depression

The S&P could end the year down nearly 8% — its worst performance since 1931.

The stock market is heading towards the worst "Grinch-like" finish since the Great Depression. (Universal/Getty Images)
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The end of 2018 is shaping up to be representative of the rest of the year — at least financially — as both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are on track for their worst year-end numbers since 1931.

If current trends continue and the S&P ends the year down 7.8% in  December, it will be the index’s worst performance for the final month of the year since the height of the Great Depression when it plunged more than 15%, Business Insider reported.

The same can be said for the Dow, which has dropped more than 7% since December 1. In 1931, the Dow was down more than 17%.

Traditionally, stocks climb into the year-end in what is festively known as the “Santa rally” — a phenomenon in which stocks rise in December via cheerful investors. But occasionally, like what the market is experiencing now, stocks take a serious, “Grinch-like” dive, as analysts describe it.

Investors are worried that the shaky market and potential interest hikes in 2019 could worsen the situation.

“The market’s overriding fear is that the Fed will press ahead with plans to raise interest rates, which could be too much for the US economy to handle,” Jasper Lawler of London Capital Group told BI. “An indication from the Fed that they will slow their pace of hikes could calm these jittery markets. However, until the Fed have confirmed that as a course of action, investors will remain skittish.”

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