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John Authers

Stock Market’s Correction Gets Rudely Interrupted

Not all of the sell-off can be attributed to some botched communications by a rookie central-bank chairman. Also, Fed vacancies and Ebola. 

A bear market in stocks means the game has changed. 

A bear market in stocks means the game has changed. 

Photographer: Michael Smith/Getty Images North America

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What just happened? I last wrote one of these newsletters on Dec. 20, the day after the last Federal Reserve monetary meeting. (More on my disappearance later in this commentary.) Since that date, stocks have staged a spectacular decline worldwide, accompanied by an equally spectacular rally in government bonds that has pushed yields lower. However, there has been an emphatic bounce in stocks, bond yields and the price of oil that was only briefly interrupted by Apple Inc.’s disappointing announcement that iPhone sales had fallen below projections.