This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Buckle Up; Stock Market Volatility Is Back

Stocks in this article: AMZN TWTR LNKD

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Buckle up. Some level of volatility has returned to the financial markets, and it may be with us for a while, especially if the past seven trading days are any indication. One very simple way to measure this is by monitoring trading days when the S&P 500 index is up or down 1% or more.

In the past seven days, we've had four such occurrences, as the stock market has grappled with world events, quarterly earnings releases and investor's nerves. Some believe that we are at a tipping point of sorts after a multiyear bull market, and that stress is showing.

That's why the big-growth, small-earnings names such as Amazon (AMZN) , Twitter (TWTR) and LinkedIn (LNKD) have been beaten up so badly so far this year. At this point, investors are growing leery of paying up for revenue growth that may never result in significant earnings or cash flow. They are repricing growth, and that may continue to roil the markets.

Year to date, there have been 14 daily moves up or down of 1% or more in the S&P 500, or about 20% of trading days. That averages out to one such day a week. That's a fairly significant increase over the same period last year, when there were nine such occurrences.

Of course, we have a long way to go to even come close to what I consider the most volatile period in market history, the fourth quarter of 2008. Although it was not all that long ago, I believe that investors have done their best to try and forget it. During that quarter, the S&P 500 had a 50 trading days with moves of 1% or more, out of 64 total trading days.

The roller coaster never seemed to end. The most amazing statistic from that period is that there were 16 days that the S&P 500 moved up or down at least 5%. Between 1950 and 2007, a 57-year period, there were just 19 such occurrences, so during the fourth quarter of 2008, we experienced a lifetime of market volatility in only three months. It's no wonder that many would rather just forget that period.

Interestingly, many of the major media outlets have forgotten. That's why I have to laugh when I see the "sky is falling" headlines following recent down days on Wall Street. Yes, volatility, as measured by my simple approach is increasing, but this is still a far cry from 2008.

At the time of publication, Heller had no positions in stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs