Updated on January 6, 2016
The first two days of trading in 2016 have been a rough ride for investors.
On Monday, markets tanked due to concerns about a global economic slowdown and a sell-off in the Chinese markets—where, for the first time, trading was halted after weak manufacturing data sent indexes down 7 percent. In the U.S., the Dow fell 1.6 percent and the S&P fell by 1.5 percent on Monday—the worst annual start for the Dow since 2008 and for the S&P since 2001. The Nasdaq fell 2 percent.
Things were looking slightly up mid-morning on Tuesday as global markets stabilized and U.S. indexes recovered some of the previous day’s losses, but by noon, earlier gains had virtually been wiped out on all three U.S. indexes. Moreover, though China has steadied its markets for now, investors remain worried that the world’s second-biggest economy might be slowing down and that the Chinese stock market is overvalued, due to previous government intervention. This, paired with fresh concerns about an oil-supply glut, is why some experts are expecting a volatile year, particularly in global markets.
This volatility comes on the heels of the news that 2015 wasn’t a particularly strong year for U.S. stocks, with the Dow and the S&P closing the year with negative returns—they lost 2.2 percent and 0.7 percent for the year, respectively—for the first time since 2008. The Nasdaq, however, closed 2015 with a 5.7 percent gain.