- Stocks plunged last week over escalating fears of the coronavirus’ spread and the damage it could inflict on global economies.
- The market sell-off erased $6 trillion of market value, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- Three charts illustrate why the stock market bears little short-term impact on most people’s lives.
- Most Americans don’t own stock, and those that do skew wealthier. And under half of families have retirement accounts.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Stocks plunged last week and entered a correction amid escalating fears of the coronavirus’ spread and the damage it could inflict on the global economy. When all was said and done, the S&P 500 had suffered its worst week since the financial crisis — October 2008 to be exact.
The drubbing erased more than $6 trillion in market value in just five days, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices senior analyst Howard Silverblatt.
The sell-off was fueled by concerns that efforts to contain the virus could stymie economic growth and cut corporate profits. The coronavirus has spread to over 55 countries beyond its point of origin in China, infecting over 83,000 people around the world.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 posted its fastest correction — defined as a 10% drop from its recent peak — since the Great Depression.
The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq Composite index are also down at least 10% from their latest highs. The Dow alone lost over 3,000 points last week. The losses could wreak havoc on the economy if it spirals into recession, though that outcome is still very uncertain.
But it won’t immediately impact their day-to-day existences.
“For most Americans, it’s a side show in their economic lives,” Jacob Hacker, director of the Institute for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, told USA Today about the stock market. “What really matters to them is the security of their jobs and health care, and the amount they have to pay for big-ticket items like housing and education.”
Here are three charts illustrating why the stock market bears little short-term impact on most people.