U.S. stocks traded sharply lower Friday in a global risk-off trade after Britain surprised markets by voting to leave the European Union.
U.S. crude oil futures settled down $2.47, or 4.93 percent, at $47.64 a barrel.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average struggled to hold year-to-date gains and briefly joined the Nasdaq composite in negative territory for 2016.
The S&P 500 traded 3 percent lower to near 2,050 afternoon trade. Financials dipped 5 percent as the greatest laggard. Goldman Sachs had the greatest negative impact on the Dow Jones industrial average, which fell 550 points in afternoon trade….
“I think time will tell whether it’s an overreaction,” said Chris Konstantinos, director of international portfolio management at Riverfront Investment. “The severity with which they’re reacting suggests there’s lots of uncertainty. People are analyzing the referendum as prospects for populous movements in the future.”
U.S. News & World Report thinks the market plunge is an overreaction to the Brexit news:
A ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. Today’s market turmoil is nothing more than a “knee-jerk reaction” as investors try to reposition themselves following a surprise vote, says Michael Kramer, a portfolio manager on Covestor, the online investing company, and founder of Mott Capital Management, a registered investment advisor in Garden City, New York.
“The markets have been caught completely off guard by these results,” he says. “The expectation into this event was for the U.K. to remain. … The results of the vote will take a long time to play out.”
Britain leaving the European Union is another example of how political events are unpredictable, says Yale Bock, a portfolio manager on Covestor and president of Y H & C in Las Vegas. “From a financial perspective, it introduces the lingering question of the strength of the European Union and these issues will not be solved quickly, so political uncertainty will be in the market for a while.”
What do you think? Is the market plunge a “knee-jerk reaction” or an omen of things to come?