Monday, 1 February 2021

Market action “reminiscent of the dot-com bubble”

The S&P 500 fell 3.3 percent last week, ending January with a 1.1 percent decline.

One stock that defied the negativity last week was GameStop, which surged 400 percent.

The rise in the video game chain’s stock came amid a tussle between retail investors buying the stock and Wall Street professionals selling it.

“Just the fact that you have a group of investors that are really chasing abnormal gains, that’s what is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble,” said James Ragan, director of wealth management research at DA Davidson.

Volatility in the US stock market rose last week, with the CBOE volatility index closing above 30 points for the first time since early November.

That volatility can become a risk for the market, especially since, as Goldman Sachs noted on Friday, “hedge fund net and gross exposures on a mark-to-market basis both remain close to the highest levels on record, indicating ongoing risk of positioning-driven sell-offs”.

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