Stock Market Slips Briefly Into Bear Market Territory

S&P 500 was down 20% from its high in January, though it didn't close there
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2022 1:01 PM CDT
Updated May 20, 2022 3:10 PM CDT
Stock Market Slips Into Bear Market Territory
In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, specialists Patrick King, left, and Douglas Johnson work on the trading floor Tuesday, May 17, 2022.   (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

(Newser) (This file has been updated throughout to reflect the market's close.) The stock market had another volatile day of trading Friday, at one point dipping into bear territory before pulling out of it. In the afternoon, the benchmark S&P 500 reached a point at which it was 20% lower than its most recent high—a mark of nearly 4,800 in January, per CNN. That 20% mark is the traditional threshold for a bear market. However, the market rallied in late trading, and the S&P did not close in bear territory. The index actually ticked up less than 1 point to finish at 3,901 and is now down about 19% since January, per CNBC. The Dow rose 8 points to 31,261, and the Nasdaq fell 33 points to 11,354.

"I don't think we're at quite peak freakout yet," Liz Young of SoFi tells CNN. "It might not be enough just to cross over into bear territory." Still, it's an ugly week by any measure. The Dow, for example, registered its eighth consecutive losing week, the longest such streak since 1932, per the Wall Street Journal. The S&P and Nasdaq aren't far behind, having lost ground for seven weeks in a row. All three finished the week down about 4%. On Friday, the markets started with strong gains at the opening bell, reversed course for big losses, and ended the day about where they started. (Read more stock market stories.)

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