U.S. stocks had their worst September since 2002. Here’s what’s contributing to recent stock market volatility and what it may mean for long-term investors.

As we enter the final quarter of 2022, it appears investors are increasingly losing confidence in the Fed’s ability to rein in inflation without sending the economy into recession.

Indeed, after a strong July, U.S. stocks once again ended the quarter in bear market territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the third quarter below 29,000 for the first time since November 2020, losing 8.8% in September alone. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite shed 9.3% and 10.5% last month, respectively.

It’s not unusual for stocks to experience a rough September, leaving some investors to wonder if seasonality may be partially to blame. At the same time, a strengthening U.S. dollar and climbing short-term Treasury yields remain problematic for stocks.

As investors brace for a potentially bumpy year-end, it may be helpful to understand why markets are behaving erratically and what this may mean for long-term investors.

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