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The Ferocity of This Market Sell-Off Eclipses the Christmas Eve Rout

  • Almost 90 percent of NYSE-listed stocks traded lower Tuesday
  • Total put and call volume on VIX options hit Feb. 2018 high
Bloomberg business news
Stocks Tumble Most Since January on Trade Tensions
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Seldom in 2018 did investors feel worse than on Christmas Eve. That’s when a whirlwind of selling sent the S&P 500 within points of a bear market. By one measure, the pressure in stocks is even worse today.

It’s not the size of the decline but the speed with which investors are hitting sell buttons. At one point today some 89 percent of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange traded in the red, surpassing the threshold reached Dec. 24, when a 2.7 percent rout in the S&P 500 pushed the gauge to a 20-month low. During the December correction, the volume of stocks trading down was higher just on one other day, Dec. 4.