What is always startling about a market pullback is how fast it gives up big gains. About eight months of gains vanished in just a couple of weeks. Today's action was the worst since the bottom in March 2009 and took us back to levels we last saw in November 2010. An awful lot of hard work went down the drain very quickly.
We have had some poor days since the lows in 2009, but nothing of this magnitude. It was a free-fall all day, and there was no support at all. The dip buyers were steamrolled, and even precious metals were no longer a safe hiding place. It has the feel of the banking crisis in late 2008 and, frankly, it isn't hard to draw parallels with the current crisis in Europe that is dragging down one county after another.
What helped make today feel even worse was yesterday's bounce had some hoping that the end of a very nasty downtrend was close. Lots of folks were ready to declare that we had seen the lows and, of course, that resulted in major pain today.
Days like today don't occur often, but they are the nature of the beast. Because we have poor days like this periodically, we can make so much more money when things improve.