$VIX – … a 2.5%…

$VIX $SPX $DJIA – The recent level of complacency permeating the market has pundits talking about the lack of 5% falls in the market—an occurrence that isn’t unusual in a normal market environment. However, a 5% tumble, while normal, isn’t that common either.

The Dow, however, hasn’t experienced a 5% decline since 2011, and before that a 5% drop hadn’t happened since 2008, when there were 9 such drops .

Even a 2.5% drop in the Dow, adding up a 550-point decline, could be unsettling, market participants said. Those sorts of tumbles are far more frequent, with 564 such moves of that magnitude occurring in the Dow since 1901. The most recent slump of at least 2.5% was on June 24, 2016, when the Dow tumbled about 610 points, or 3.4%, a day after U.K. citizens voted to end the country’s membership in the European Union. There were 3 falls for the Dow of at least 2.5% in 2015.

As for the S&P 500, going back to 1950, 61 of the past 67 years have had a 5% downdraft at least once, or 91% of all years, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist, at LPL Financial.
“The inevitable 5% drop will be a shock to nearly everyone,” Detrick said. “We’ve been historically spoiled so far this year, but as the economic cycle ages, we fully expect more volatility the remainder of this year and the likely 5% correction to take place as well,” he said.

Billionaire investor Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, said “this is time for caution,” pointing to a number of bad-market omens. Those include trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratios, a measure of valuation, for S&P 500 stocks running at 25 times. He said another valuation metric, the Shiller Cyclically Adjusted PE Ratio, known as the Shiller CAPE, is at its highest level since only two other times in the market’s history: 1929 and 2000.