When Markets Crash, What Do People Google?

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY are recovering from 7.7-percent and 6.2-percent dips.

The market moved down quickly over the last few sessions, leaving many on the Street surprised. 

"People are waking up shocked — January was a very good month and suddenly you hit February and it’s all flipped," Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told Bloomberg. Craig said his email inbox flooded with clients asking "what on Earth has happened?"

But concern seems slow to settle in. Early Tuesday, the world had more pressing inquiries about SpaceX and Oprah Winfrey, according to Alphabet Inc GOOGL’s Google Trends.

Financial market terms like “S&P 500 Index” and “Dow Jones Industrial Average” started the day with third-place rankings in the search engine’s most popular queries until late morning, when they rose to No. 1. “VIX” has claimed peak traffic since August as iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures TM ETN VXX faded off an 88.2-percent spike. "Volatility” fielded average interest for the year.

Here's how global traffic on other relevant terms has changed as the markets shake:

“Stock market” struck its highest traffic since the 2016 election. All preceding periods within the last year registered less than 75 percent of the interest seen in recent days. 

“Bitcoin” saw 38 percent of its peak mid-December popularity.

Despite the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) GLD’s sharp sell-off, “gold” searches were relatively consistent with year-over-year traffic and  marginally lower than the time of most intense interest at the end of December.

Throughout the day, "Commodity Futures Trading Commission," "NASDAQ," "New York Stock Exchange" and "Federal Reserve" were also trending.

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Posted In: BloombergDow JonesGoogle TrendsKerry CraigOprah WinfreySpaceXNewsPsychologyTop StoriesMarketsGeneral

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