The first market storm of 2014 (that we had named Angel) is over with the S&P 500 and broader Russell 3000 stock market indexes rebounding to all time highs after reversing a 6% decline.
The decline was sparked by turmoil in emerging markets (EM) and weak economic data here in the United States in what amounted to a “growth scare.” Stocks have rebounded even though conditions in EM, measured by bond yields and credit default swaps, have not improved much, and the U.S. economic data continue to disappoint economists’ expectations [Figure 1]. Also, the Federal Reserve has communicated no change in path or message as a result of these developments. So what turned stocks around from their intraday low point on February 5? It was most likely fading concerns over weaker growth and deteriorating conditions for EM.