Stocks investors are spooked about a lot of things, and the strong dollar biting into earnings growth is now one of them.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of other currencies, jumped 0.6 percent on Monday to 97.43, a 17-month high. As the dollar rose, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost as much as 500 points, and the S&P 500 was down 1.6 percent early in the afternoon.
The dollar's strength Monday was largely attributed to weakness in the British pound and euro because of negative Brexit news and concerns about Italy's budget. But the dollar has also been rising on trade war concerns, rising U.S. interest rates and weaker growth rates outside the U.S.
"It could be a challenge for the stock market in the fact that about 40 percent of the S&P 500 earnings are generated from outside the United States," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. "As the dollar strengthens, that has certainly created risk to those earnings. Another thing that could be a risk is, as the global economy has been slowing this year, the rising dollar poses a problem for many countries outside the U.S., and that has contributed to the slowdown in growth. The question is whether the U.S. economy can withstand a slowdown in global growth, and I don't think it can in the long run."
Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, said the dollar in recent sessions has been getting a boost from the Fed. After last week's meeting, the Fed's statement indicated a rate hike is coming in December and several more could be in store for next year....