An ugly, year-end stock-market selloff and the return of volatility has put the economic expansion, soon to be the longest on record, under the microscope. Cyclical sectors, such as housing, are slowing, as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
The risks to the economy seem to be multiplying, from trade tensions to national security threats to a president who prefers to conduct the nation’s affairs via Twitter.
The question everyone is asking is: Are the gut-wrenching ups and downs in the U.S. stock market just noise? Or is the flirtation with a bear market an early warning sign of what the U.S. economy can expect in 2019?