Welcome to the bloodbath.
This morning trading was halted on the major stock exchanges after the S&P 500 fell to 7% triggering what are one of the so-called circuit breakers to stop an absolute market rout.
Within seconds of opening stocks fell sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 872.42 (or 3.37%) to 24,9992.36, the S&P 500 slipping 193.41 (6.51%) to 2,778.96, and the Nasdaq off 90.16 or 6.96% at 1,205.58 to start the day.
By the time the S&P fell by 7%, trading was halted for 15 minutes. The S&P decline is one of three "circuit breakers" markets pull when things look really dire. The next circuit breaker is triggered should stocks slide by 13% and a final breaker is flipped if things drop to 20%. Within thirty minutes of the opening bells, the Dow fell by 6% or 1,571.87.
Trading halted on Wall Street for 15 min as first circuit breaker is triggered following 7% drop. Next circuit breaker goes into effect at a 13% drop, followed by 20%.
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) March 9, 2020
The declines come after the Japanese stock market fell around 5%, Chinese stocks on the Shanghai index fell 3%, Australian stocks were off over 7%, and South Korean stocks fell by over 4% (in case you were wondering London and the FTSE is also down over 7% too).
Other economic indicators are landing somewhere between basement-level and molecular in their shrinking values. The price of oil? Down. US treasury yields? Record lows. Even cryptocurrencies are off sharply today, with leading bitcoin down below $8,000 as its retreat followed declines in other asset classes.
The impact for startups and other, private companies will take some time to be felt. But if the valuation of all comps is heading down, the value of related, or even competing startups will also fall. For startups that raised at optimistic valuations in 2019, 2020's repricing is the opposite of welcome.
It's also going to impact the ability of some of venture capital and private equity's biggest bankrollers to ... well... bankroll. Slashing the price of oil is going to start a race to the bottom among the folks who were shoveling heaps of oil dollars over to investment funds of all stripes. Profligate spending from Russian oligarchs and journalist-murdering Middle Eastern royalty may be put on hold right now. This could further ding the chances of Vision Fund 2 coming into existence.
Over the last few years it has became a meme to report that millennials are busy killing off things like bad restaurants, golf, and other suburban delicacies. Now it appears that boomers are killing off the stock market, after jacking up the national debt, entrenching the capital class, and spending our blood and treasure getting into a wars that they also now lack to finesse to get out off. Great work, everyone.
Anyway, it's a mess out there. Hell, even SaaS stocks are off 4.84% percent at the open.