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更新时间:2015-9-2 9:46:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Wild Month on Wall St. Ends Quietly

For several years, parking one’s savings in the United States stock market seemed like a no-brainer. Not only did stocks steadily climb — giving investors far better returns than they could get from their bank accounts — the ride up was smooth.


Then August broke the calm.


Stocks, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, tumbled 6.3 percent in August, finishing the month on Monday with a decline of 16.69 points, or 0.8 percent, for the day. It was the worst monthly performance for the benchmark in over three years. The decline wiped more than $1 trillion off the value of stocks.


Crucially, the turbulence interrupted an unusually long period of tranquillity for investors.


On five trading days in August, the S.&P. 500 moved up or down by more than 2 percent. Moves of that magnitude have been relatively rare in recent years.


“We were in a bull market in complacency,” said Douglas Kass of Seabreeze Partners Management, a hedge fund firm. “I think that the spike in volatility that we’ve seen in the last 10 days is the precursor to further spikes.”

“之前我们在牛市里沾沾自喜,”对冲基金公司海风资产管理(Seabreeze Partners Management)的道格拉斯·卡斯(Douglas Kass)说。“我认为,过去10天我们看到的波动的激增,是市场进一步大幅震荡的先兆。”

In recent days, investors sold heavily as they grappled with new and old concerns.


On Aug. 24, the Dow Jones industrial average was down over 1,000 points at one point during the day, before recovering somewhat. For the month, the Dow was down 6.6 percent, after losing 114.98 points, or 0.7 percent, on Monday.

8月24日,道琼斯(Dow Jones)工业平均指数一度下挫超过1000点,不过之后有所回升。周一,该指数再降114.98点,即0.7%之后。8月道指总降幅达到6.6%。

The main source of worry continues to be China’s $10 trillion economy, which appears to be slowing more than analysts had originally thought. The slowdown has raised fears that the country will now buy fewer goods and services from other countries, weighing on a global economy that has consistently struggled to gain traction since the financial crisis of 2008.


China’s leaders surprised financial markets with a surprise devaluation of the country’s currency on Aug. 11. And their efforts to shore up the stock market with interventions seemed to erode, rather than build, confidence.


Investors are also fretting, as they have for several years, over the direction of interest rates. The Federal Reserve has not raised rates since 2006, a policy stance that has helped stimulate the economy and drive financial markets higher.

投资者对美元利率的走向也感到焦虑,对此他们已经持续了好几年。自2006年开始,美联储(Federal Reserve)就没有再上调过美元利率,这项政策帮助刺激了美国经济,也推高了金融市场。

Last week, an influential Fed official, William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, calmed those worries, saying that he was less enthusiastic about the idea of raising rates in September. That helped propel stocks higher.

上周,颇具影响力的美联储官员、纽约联邦储备银行(Federal Reserve Bank of New York)行长威廉·C·达德利(William C. Dudley)表示,自己对9月份上调利率的想法不再那么热情了。这多少安抚了市场的忧虑情绪,使股票价格进一步上扬。

But over the weekend, other Fed officials at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., indicated that an increase could still take place in September. If a raise were to happen, it would most likely be announced after Fed meetings scheduled for Sept. 16 and 17.


Still, as August ended, some analysts found reasons to believe that the markets may have found a bottom.


“I think we got the summer flu,” said Jonathan Golub, chief United States market strategist at RBC Capital Markets, “and this is behind us.”

“我认为我们是得了夏季流感,”加拿大皇家银行资本市场(RBC Capital Markets)美国首席分析师乔纳森·戈卢布(Jonathan Golub)说,“现在它已经过去了。”

One potentially bullish indicator is the price of oil. The benchmark New York crude contract has soared 26 percent from its low last week, to $48.32 a barrel on Monday. Oil had slumped this year, suggesting that demand for the commodity was falling as economies around the world slowed.


The latest bounce indicates that investors are betting that demand for oil will not weaken further.


“This is at least a sign that we’re not having an economic collapse,” Mr. Golub said.


Stocks are no longer in a correction, the Wall Street term for when a market declines by more than 10 percent from its highs. The S.&P. 500 is now 7.5 percent below its all-time nominal high, reached in May. At its low last week, it was more than 12 percent lower.


At the end of trading on Monday, the Dow was 9.7 percent below its peak. The technology-heavy Nasdaq is now down 8.5 percent from its high. Unlike the other two market measures, however, it is up since the start of the year, by 0.9 percent.


Worries about the Fed and China came at a time when valuations on United States stocks — the yardsticks investors apply to stocks to decide if they are worth buying — were starting to look expensive. A big debate on Wall Street now is whether corporate earnings are strong enough to make stocks resilient if faced with further shocks from overseas and uncertainty about monetary policy.


Some analysts still see enough strength to sustain the bull market for United States stocks that started back in 2009.


“What we do is fall back on our process and our models,” said Mark H. Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS’s wealth management arm. “The crucial factor for us is the economic data — and the U.S. economy is doing well.”

“我们要做的是,回到自身的进程和模式上来,”瑞银财富管理投资全球首席投资总监马克·H·海菲尔(Mark H. Haefele)说。“对我们来说,至关重要的是经济数据,美国经济现在表现不错。”

According to Mr. Golub, United States corporations have been consistently squeezing out higher profits each year. Companies have achieved this, he says, by increasing revenue, cutting costs and buying back stock, which increases earnings on a per-share basis, a number that investors carefully track. “It’s more sustainable than people think,” Mr. Golub said.


But some analysts remain cautious. In a world characterized by low economic growth, corporate earnings are vulnerable. Stock valuations, the analysts say, may need to move down to reflect the risk that profits growth may wane.