Stocks Fall, End Worst January In Years

Stock exchange floor

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Good riddance to a cold January, and we’re not just talking about the weather.

Stocks dropped sharply during the first month of the year, with the Dow tumbling more than 5%. That was the Dow’s worst January since 2009, when stocks were still in freefall in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The S&P 500 slipped more than 3% this month, while the Nasdaq has shed nearly 2%.

Stocks have been hit particularly hard during the past two weeks due to emerging market worries and weak earnings.

Those factors also pressured the market on Friday. The Dow fell more than 150 points, or almost 1%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.7%, and Nasdaq declined 0.5%.

As stocks continued to lose ground, CNNMoney’s Fear & Greed index, which measures seven indicators of market sentiment, fell further into “Extreme Fear” mode.

Related: Market volatility ahead. But don’t panic!

The market pullback hasn’t been a total surprise though, given how well stocks did in 2013. Many experts believe stocks could continue to drop before resuming their upward trend.

“Frankly, we’ve been telling clients to expect a 5% to 10% decline,” said Matt King, chief investment officer at Bell Investment Advisors. “We didn’t think it would happen so early in the year, but it’s been such a good run for markets that a meaningful correction is normal and healthy.”

While stocks took a small step back last spring, they haven’t experienced a correction, typically defined as a decline of 10% or more, in more than two years.

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