What Is Stock Correction

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

Investors often hope that the stock market will help them grow and safeguard their money, but they also realize that this isn’t always the case. Overvaluations and undervaluations are common results of the market’s ups and downs.

When a bull market lasts for a lengthy period of time, traders and investors anticipate the inevitable bear market.

When stock prices fall, this is known as a drawdown or a market correction. Some investors may experience fear as a result of them, although this is unwarranted. These fluctuations are typical, and many even consider them essential, for a robust stock market in the United States. All the information you want on market downturns is provided below.

What Is the Definition of a Stock Market Correction?

When the value of an asset drops by at least 10% from its most recent high, the market is said to be in a correction.

Let’s say that 45 days ago, a share of stock ABC was selling for $100, compared to its current price of $50. Stock has fallen from its previous highs to its current price of $89, a loss of $11. Given that the drop is more than 10%, we may call it a correction.

As investors rush to sell during these dips, the market is typically volatile. A sharp decline from recent highs in stock prices isn’t necessarily a signal to sell, as we’ll discuss below. Buying extra shares of your favorite stocks during a slump is a great way to implement dollar-cost averaging while also enhancing your chance for long-term profit. Some relevant information concerning alterations is as follows.

Stock market corrections occur at various levels.

First of all, there are many tiers of market corrections:

Individual Stocks

Many individual stocks have corrections similar to the one used above. Stock market sell-offs can be precipitated by unfavorable news, such as missing earnings or sales projections, or they can occur unexpectedly when a group of investors chooses to cash out. A single stock is often hit by these types of price drops.


Some market corrections are so severe that they affect an entire market segment, causing a widespread decline in the sector’s stocks. Some industries may experience a downturn because of external factors, such as rapid changes in the price of oil or because of new regulations aimed at lowering the cost of pharmaceuticals.


Certain occurrences have the potential to send all regional financial markets into a tailspin. For instance, a regional rebalancing occurred after a drop in Chinese equities in response to tariffs levied on Chinese imports entering the United States.


At long last, global market adjustments are possible. During a stock market correction, the entire market declines. These incidents are marked by simultaneous drops of 10% or more throughout major market indices throughout the globe.

Corrections Are Typically Transient

While certain market corrections might result in protracted bear markets, the great majority are only temporary dips in price. From 1980–2018, there were 37 corrections, but only 10 of them turned into bear markets. The others were only temporary dips.

The typical duration of a corrections program is between three and four months. Once the news of the occurrence has passed, the market usually recovers rapidly, creating a fantastic opportunity for profit. If you can maintain your composure and focus on the market circumstances, you can seize a number of lucrative chances that arise when these occurrences occur.

A correction is not synonymous with a bear market.

Crashes in the stock market are a hallmark of both market corrections and bear markets. There are, however, a few key distinctions:

  • Drop in Proportion. To be considered a bear market, price drops of 20% or more from recent highs are required.
  • Term. The bears have a tendency to keep dominance for a while once they seize a certain market segment, geographical area, or the entire market. The typical correction lasts only three to four months, whereas the average bad market lasts 9.6 months, according to Hartford Funds.
  • Cause. The general public’s sudden decision to cash out their investments might trigger a swift and unexpected correction. Bear markets, on the other hand, tend to carry greater weight. Such persistent drops often reflect a deteriorating economy, a tense political climate, or both.

Corrections are common.

As was previously indicated, between 1980 and 2018, there were 37 adjustments, or little less than one per year. That proves you shouldn’t freak out if it occurs to you. Stock market participants tend to keep their cool despite the fact that the talking heads on financial media will make a big deal out of each downturn.

Corrections Examples

Examining past market downturns is a great approach to learn about the dynamics at play during these periods.

In 2020, a coronavirus epidemic triggered one of the most recent market-wide corrections. Salons, movie theaters, theme parks, and shopping centers were closed for months as a precautionary measure while the illness spread. Consequently, many people lost their jobs, businesses went bankrupt, and individuals cut back on their expenditures.

That’s why the market started to plummet.

The pandemic-induced slump quickly morphed into a full-blown bear market, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq all plunging by more than 30%. All three indices were back to normal after 10 months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both had double-digit percentage drops in February of 2018. Inflation worries sparked the drop, but the resulting profit-taking turned out to be excessive. Midway through the month of March 2018 saw a comeback in pricing.

What Corrections Indicate

Sometimes the information gained during market downturns is not worth the trouble. They are a natural element of the financial system and might indicate that the market and economy are doing well since they help to keep values in check.

If, for instance, a correction occurs out of the blue while economic growth is robust, corporate earnings are on the rise, and geopolitical tensions are low, it’s probably just investors cashing in on their gains and won’t last long.

When combined with ominous underlying facts, though, corrections might portend a bleak future.

For instance, a 10% or more drop in stock prices might signal an impending economic recession and bear market if recent economic indicators reveal slowing new house sales, increased unemployment insurance claims, and reducing consumer spending.

Bottom Line

In the grand scheme of things, corrections aren’t quite as terrifying as they’re made up to be. To be sure, losses may and do occur during these periods. These ebb and flow patterns may seem mundane, but they really play a crucial role in maintaining a sound financial system.

And as the market recovers, astute investors may profit by buying up undervalued equities at a bargain and riding the wave to even greater heights. Market corrections can happen at any time, but being calm is crucial. Stock market earnings often result from cool heads making informed selections.

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