In April 2015 the Dallas Fed’s Economic Letter carried this front-page headline: “Plunging Oil Prices: A Boost for the U.S. Economy.” But the headline ended with this down note: “A Jolt for Texas.” The newsletter went on to say that while eight energy-dependent state economies might take a hit, lower oil prices represented a net positive for the U.S. as a whole. (more…)
On January 4, 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed down 276 points, the worst year-opening trading day in eight years. It was followed by seven more triple-digit declines, pushing the index down by 5.5% for the month, and into an official 10% correction off its 2015 high. The benchmark S&P 500 didn’t do much better: off 5.1% for the month and down 8.9% from its relative high. Meanwhile, small cap stocks had fallen by month-end into a full-fledge bear market, with the Russell 2000 down 20% from June 2015’s high.