Whipsaws, Whiplash, and Algos

Whipsaws, Whiplash, and Algos

After living through the worst quarter (Q4 2018) since 2011, we just experienced the best start to a year since 2012, with the S&P 500 Index up +13.5% and international equities up +10.3% in Q1 2019. As recently as December 2018, the S&P 500 Index was down -20.2% (peak-to-trough, 9/20/19- 12/24/19), and the threat of moving into a global recession loomed large.  In other words, the first quarter was almost a mirror image of the fourth quarter.

What triggered equities to drop to bear market levels then to abruptly – and I mean abruptly! – reverse?

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