Skip to content
Subscriber Only

This Year's Stock Market Got Too Hard for Anyone to Figure Out

  • Wall Street’s equity fear gauge is swinging like never before
  • Investors have bailed from stock funds in the face of a rally
Views Of Wall Street As Stocks Extend Losses
Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg

It took the better part of a decade for Americans to warm to a stock rally that has created $20 trillion in wealth. Could it take just one brutal quarter and a trade war to undo their trust?

For individuals who spent the first part of the year bailing from one of the best rallies ever, the answer has often seemed like yes. Bruised by a fourth-quarter rout and made dizzy by months like May, they’ve pulled $135 billion from mutual funds and ETFs and sent most of the cash to fixed income.