Is the Dow Headed for Its Most Volatile Year Since the Recession?

The DJIA has tracked 27 200-plus-point swings in 2015 thus far

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 14, 2015 at 7:54 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

It's been 18 sessions since the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) tracked an intraday range of fewer than 100 points, or since July 20, to be exact. The trend continued yesterday, with the blue-chip barometer exploring a range of 140.4 points. However, this volatile price action is just more of the same for the DJIA -- with intraday swings of 200 points or more running above average this year.

Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White ran the numbers and found that the Dow has moved at least 200 points in a single session 27 times in 2015 -- the most since 2011 -- including a nearly 300-point swing on Wednesday. To account for the Dow's massive move higher in recent years -- the 30-stock index entered 2011 trading near 11,600 -- Rocky also calculated the number of 1.2% swings the DJIA has made since 1990. (The percentage was calculated based on a 200-point change from Wednesday's close at 17,402.51.) This was the highest since 2012.

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Rocky went one step further and extrapolated the data to see how many 200-point swings the Dow is on pace to notch in all of 2015, assuming there are 252 trading days in a year. Using the 200-point changes as a measure of volatility, it looks as if 2015 is on track to be the most volatile year for the Dow since 2008.

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