January has been a nightmare for investors. Here’s what Wall Street is watching.

The stock market’s fear gauge has soared nearly 100 percent this year as inflation, rate hikes and other worries spark dizzying swings

A screen charts the Dow Jones industrial average Thursday at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)
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Wall Street has been thrown headfirst into a sea of turbulence in 2022.

U.S. stocks have recorded three consecutive weekly declines to kick off the year, as spooked investors worry the Federal Reserve may tighten monetary policy more aggressively than originally planned to combat surging inflation. That uncertainty has sent the market’s fear gauge, the Cboe Volatility Index, up nearly 100 percent year-to-date, and played out in stunning fashion Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average cratered then clawed out of a more than 1,000-point deficit — a first — to end the session in the green.

The swings can be dizzying, but experts are quick to note that volatility is a healthy part of the market because it presents opportunities in the form of bargain prices.

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“Investors must now decide whether this is a chance to buy on the dips or the first sign that there is trouble ahead,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said Tuesday in comments emailed to The Post.

Here’s what investors are monitoring — and what can send them into a tailspin.

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