The fearless girl stands before the iconic Wall Street
The fearless girl stands before the iconic Wall Street, "Charging Bull."

Wall Street volatility worries investors over the state of the market cycle

After months of sustained growth, it has been a week of volatility for the U.S. stock market.

The Dow Jones fell 800 points on Tuesday — on investor fears of an ongoing trade war with China. Then came a brief intermission. The stock market was closed on Wednesday as the country was mourning the recent death of the 41st President George H.W. Bush.

But the additional day did not seem to reassure investors, as the Dow started with another huge drop on Thursday. At one point, it was down 780 points. But it later rebounded late in the day to close near even.

Sam Henderson, financial adviser at Henderson Wealth Planners in Fort Myers, said the volatility is not surprising given the overall trends of the economy.

“In my career over 30 years, when markets hit an all time high, the markets will look for any excuse to pull back,” Henderson said. “That’s what we’re seeing now.”

In 2009, the Dow plummeted to about 6,600 points, which is a quarter of the stock market’s value as of its close on Thursday. Some investors said the unpredictable nature of the stock market is reminiscent of the fear they felt during the 2008 recession.

“My husband and I were both like, ‘oh no, there goes our retirement,'” Cheryl Menke said, who lives in Fort Myers. “We’ll have to work until we’re 80.”

But Henderson said the fundamentals of the economy are much stronger now than it was then. So there is no need to panic.

“Now what you do in this time frame is make an assessment,” Henderson said. “And say “ok, is this too much for me? Is this market volatility too much? If it is, wait for the market to pull back.’ Get back with your financial adviser, get back with your consultant, then make changes in your portfolio.”

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