The JSE is headed for its worst monthly performance in about a decade, raising fears that the downside momentum will continue. The current post-crisis wobbles in global markets have seen, for the first time in a long time, almost every major asset class falling into negative territory for the year. In the US in October, even high-flying technology stocks have been pummelled, and last week the last of the S&P 500’s advance evaporated and left investors facing a sea of red. The third-quarter results of Amazon and Alphabet last week reignited the sell-off. The S&P 500 fell 3% or more only twice in 2012-17, but has done so four times in 2018 — and twice in October. Analysts and investors insist they are not panicking yet. While October has been a bad month, a calm stretch had preceded it. The US stock market has historically averaged more than four falls of 5% a year, and suffers a 10% correction about once a year. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite are also down more ...

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