On February 24, when the US stock market started to slide, investors got nervous. By March 23, the S&P 500 was down 34% from the February high point. Emotionally, it was difficult to stay invested. But time and again, financial professionals have cautioned that falling markets can turn on a dime when things seem only slightly less bleak than the day before. Historically, every severe downturn has eventually given way to further growth.
Source: Fidelity Investments. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. See footnote 1 for details.
It's unclear what will happen next. But we do know that these patterns have played out in similar ways in recent market pullbacks. Days with unimaginable losses have sometimes been followed quickly by days with large gains. Eventually, the market has historically gotten through these periods and gone on to produce positive returns — the largest of which often come right after big selloffs.