Opinion: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could keep stocks sliding for weeks before the market finally hits bottom

U.S. stocks staged an impressive reversal on Feb. 24 — including a 950-point intraday move to the upside for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
— but there’s too much eagerness to declare that the U.S. market has bottomed.

Read: Nasdaq Composite turns a 3.5% loss into 3.3% gain as stock market stages epic turnaround after Russia invaded Ukraine. Here are 3 reasons for the rebound.

Market bottoms more typically are made when despondent investors throw in the towel. Yet the narrative being used to support the “bottom is in” belief in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is that stocks spring back quickly from geopolitical crises. As MarketWatch reported earlier this week: “Despite near-term volatility in the wake of geopolitical events over the past three decades, ranging from terrorist attacks to the start of wars, stocks have tended to bounce back relatively quickly, … rallying 4.6% on average in the six months following such crises dating back to 1990 and rising 81% of the time.”

Or consider this tweet a money manager sent out after the news broke that Russia had invaded Ukraine: “Excellent buying opportunities never feel good at the time.” After presenting one of the many lists of past geopolitical events that are circulating around Wall Street, the tweet continued: “Lesson? Buy when there’s blood in the streets.”

“ Like telling a boxer to celebrate being knocked down because it creates the opportunity to get up again. ”

These narratives gloss over the extent of the short-term losses that geopolitical events inflict on investors. The attitude adopted by the market’s cheerleaders is like telling a boxer to…


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