The past two weeks were all about inflation and interest rates, with investors watching the Fed’s every move with bated breath, and making the top spiking articles on Investopedia this week all about investing, the economy and personal finance. The Dow had its worst weekly decline since October, ending the week on a 3.5% decline, and the drop in equities spanned across industries, reflecting investors’ concerns about inflation and monetary policy. Over the past two days, however, U.S. equity markets have rallied back as investors try to balance those fears as they continue to search for yield.
Dark pools, or private exchanges meant to help facilitate bulk orders for institutional investors, saw a spike in readers on June 10th. Earlier that day, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler had asked staff to recommend rules addressing issues like "payment-for-order-flow," questioning whether it creates conflicts of interests for broker-dealers, and whether dark pools distort the market’s price mechanism. For the handful of firms that dominate the retail trading market, their client trading platforms like Robinhood, and the multitude of retail investors who use those platforms, any changes in related regulations could have a profound impact.
Interest in naked shorting, or short-selling shares that aren't owned or might not exist (which is illegal in the U.S.), also peaked over the same period, likely driven by the resurgence of meme stocks, which can be prime targets for manipulators, and a related investigation by SEC regulators.
Investors’ fears about inflation prompted many of our readers to search for ways to protect themselves against it, as well as how to profit from it. Fears that the Federal Reserve will soon taper its $120 billion of monthly government bond purchases prompted readers to look up our definition of taper tantrum. Interest in that term hasn’t been this high since 2013, the last time the Fed pulled back on quantitative easing.
Cryptocurrencies failed to generate as much buzz as they usually do over this period, but among relatively low levels of readership, some terms stood out. Our article on the death cross surged, a technical chart pattern indicating that a major sell-off could be on the horizon when a stock or security’s short-term moving average crosses below its long-term moving average. It’s seen as a reliable predictor of the onset of a bear market, and could suggest investors are worried cryptocurrencies might be headed in that direction.