Panic Selling

DEFINITION of 'Panic Selling'

Wide-scale selling of an investment, causing a sharp decline in price. In most instances of panic selling, investors just want to get out of the investment, with little regard for the price at which they sell.

BREAKING DOWN 'Panic Selling'

The main problem with panic selling is that investors are selling in reaction to pure emotion and fear, rather than evaluating fundamentals. Almost every market crash is a result of panic selling. Most major stock exchanges use trading curbs and halts to limit panic selling, to allow people to digest any information on why the selling is occurring, and to restore some degree of normalcy to the market.