Shut Up and Let Me Trade: The Week That Rocked Stock Markets

One of the wildest runs in U.S. stock-market history began with the collapse of arcane gambles on volatility and ended with a sober realization: The easy ride is over. After heart-stopping sways in the Dow( Down 1,000 points! Up 500 points !), a market correction is ultimately here.

But why–and why now? Inflation, interest rates, valuations, computers, ETFs, Trump; plenty of reasons were offered up. Among the linger questions is the big one: Is this a hiccup or the start of something worse?

Monday, Feb. 5

8 a. m. EST, 11 Wall street, Lower Manhattan
Even before the opening bell, Monday looks like a bad day on the New York Stock Exchange. After the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged a devilish 666 ahead of the weekend, the futures are pointing to trouble.

9: 30 a.m. EST, Lake Forest, Illinois
Thomas Forester has been here before: he shot to fame after his mutual fund turned a profit through the 2008 meltdown. Now, a decade later, he’s buying options–puts — to hedge against the risk that the stock market will tank again today. But even Forester is shocked by what comes next.” This week feels like a month already ,” he says later.

11 a. m. EST, Midtown Manhattan
It was the hot trade on Wall street. Now, newfangled investments linked to volatility in the stock market — until recently, obliterate niche products — are starting to explode. The Dow industrials begins to tumble: 200 phases, 300 phases, 400 points. Exchange-traded products( ETPs) and exchange-traded funds( ETFs) that are tied to volatility — in particular, the VIX index in Chicago — are sinking in a cascade of sell orders.

3 p. m. EST, Key Biscayne, Florida
” Shut up and let me trade !”

Brian Frank isn’t commonly screamer. But the market looks like it’s falling apart, and his analyst is yammering in his ear.” I have a hedge fund here !” Frank tells him.” I have to do some short-term trades here !”

After the long melt-up in stocks, Frank, of Frank Capital Partner LLC, is sensing opportunity now that stocks are eventually starting to sink. He’s been saying valuations are stretched. But, right now, he’s got to focus. As he sets it later:” It was like when you snap your fingers and you tell your children,’ Hey, listen to me, something is happening here. This isn’t another day at the office, this isn’t business as usual .”

He goes on:” You don’t get days like this often. No. 1, we have to capitalize on it. No. 2, we have to protect our clients .”

3: 10 p.m. EST, Lower Manhattan
It holds getting worse. In only 15 minutes, the Dow plunges 850 phases. Still, this is hardly a panic. People are worried, yes–but this feels different from 2008 or 1987( comparings will unavoidably be made ). Nonetheless, Fox News, President Donald Trump’s favorite network, cuts away from his speech in Ohio, where Trump is talking up tax cuts, to focus on the markets.

3: 42 p.m. EST, Ohio
For months Trump has taken credit for the rising stock market. Now, as the market swoons, he takes to Twitter to celebrate the Republican tax cut.

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