The Dow lost 1,079 points this week, or over 6% of its overall value.
Investors have gone bearish as fears about China and crashing oil prices dealt Wall Street a painful blow. It was the worst five-day start to a year on record according to Dow Jones.
Even during an excellent US jobs report and a rather calm Friday in China, the Dow fell by 168 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost about 1% of their respective values each.
Oil prices plunged to their lowest levels since 2003 on Thursday, spooking investors as they headed towards the last trading day of the week.
When oil drops, so do energy stocks and they retreated on Friday with Valero and Marathon Petroleum falling more than 3% apiece.
The oil sectors troubles were largely behind the week’s selloff which erased $1.1 trillion from the S&P 500.
Sentiment in China was boosted after regulators scrapped circuit breakers which many investors believed were triggering sharp trades — rather than taming them.
China’s central bank also raised its target rate for the yuan for the first time in over a week. The surprise decline in the yuan recently raised fears of a currency war of competitive devaluations.
The Dow managed to fall despite good numbers on the US job front. The government said the US added 292,000 jobs in December, easily beating expectations. The US economy also ended its second-strongest year of employment gains since 1999. Wages also increased by 2.5% last month, matching the best gain in six years.
Investors fears were also noted as the cost of Gold increased by 4% over the last week to $1,103. Gold tends to fetch a hire prices during times of financial stress.
Billionaire George Soros was among several high profile investors to say 2008’s financial crisis is a good model for what is happening with the current economy.
Other investors say we saw the same time of fear over China’s market conditions in the Summer of 2015. By the end of the year those fears were assailed.