The Motley Fool: Time to freak out?

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Ask the Fool
Market slump? Don’t freak out
Q: How freaked out should I be when the market crashes, say, 274 points, as it did recently? – C.D., Santa Rosa, Calif.
A: Don’t freak out. Stocks and the overall market move up and down every day the market is open, with some of those moves being sizable. It’s smart to think in percentages instead of points, though – a concept that the financial media don’t seem to grasp. On Aug. 17, for example, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped a seemingly massive 274 points – the second-largest single-day decline in 2017. The Dow began that day at 22,025, though, and ended not that far away, at 21,751. Those 274 points represented a decline of only 1.24 percent.

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