NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Twitter hashtag #BlackMonday was already conjuring memories of the crash of 1987 by the time U.S. investors woke up on Monday, at least for those old enough to remember it. Not to mention the even better known Black Monday of 1929, generally associated with the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The situation didn't improve much a few hours later when U.S. markets actually opened. China's Shanghai Composite had fallen 8.5% overnight, which caused European markets to sell off and the Dow Jones to open down 1,000 points.
Much of the chaos has been attributed to concern that the Chinese economy is slowing down, heightened by the country's decision this month to devalue its currency in order to boost exports. That followed a massive sell-off in Chinese markets last month, which prompted the government to take drastic measures: IPOs were suspended, trading was halted in over 20% of the companies listed on Chinese exchanges, and shareholders who held more than 5% in a company were barred from selling for six months.
All of that has Wall Street analysts debating whether the market is merely in correction territory, the dominant view, or if the last few weeks of market mayhem are signaling deeper problems.
-- E. William Stone, PNC (PNC): "Global markets have continued to be under pressure this morning, but investors should resist the urge to panic in our view," Stone, the Pittsburgh-based bank's chief investment strategist wrote. PNC expects a week of market gyrations as U.S. economic data is released and the Federal Reserve holds its annual meeting with other central bankers in Jackson Hole.