A false report of explosions at the White House that wiped out $136 billion from the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in about two minutes highlighted the risks of the computerized trading that dominates the $18 trillion market.
Europe’s fiscal crisis and China’s slower growth weighed down first-quarter earnings at U.S. companies reliant on overseas sales, threatening to temper a recovery that pushed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to records.
The 100 wealthiest people on the planet added $28.7 billion to their collective net worth this week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capped its first weekly decline of the year, after reaching the highest level since October 2007, amid increasing concern the Federal Reserve will curtail its stimulus program.
U.S. corporations are set to report their most profitable fourth quarter on record as companies from Apple Inc. to Dow Chemical Co. feed the demand for iPads, caustic soda and capital goods that’s bolstering the economy.
Record volatility in stocks pushed investors to the safety of large companies and handed the Dow Jones Industrial Average the best risk-adjusted return since the bull market started in 2009, the first time the gauge has led a comparable recovery.