What the Market Is Telling Us

After Feb. 27, volatility rules. Yet global capital also looks likely to flee riskier emerging markets and return to the relative safety of U.S. stocks

In the parlance of Thomas Friedman, the world never looked flatter than it did this week. A 9% stock market sell-off in China on Feb. 27 prompted sharp drops almost everywhere else around the globe. Suddenly, money managers and traders, lulled into a trance by seven months of steadily rising share prices, felt like they'd been hit over the head with a best-selling hardcover. With one big thwack, they were reminded that stocks are risky and that emerging markets are riskier.

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