Behold, this week’s market moves were not world-ending

“By the time he remembered his 401k password, it was all over!”
“By the time he remembered his 401k password, it was all over!”
Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew
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The start of the week was a little scary. Investors didn’t know where to turn as chaos swept eastward from China, sending American and European markets into a panic.

But then things … moderated. Even though day-trading websites broke down left and right, the biggest indices, namely the S&P 500 in the US and STOXX 600 in Europe, barely changed this week. The former rose 0.9%, the latter 0.6%. The mood is still pretty dour in Asia, especially China. Indices there and in Japan ended the week in the red. Questions continue to swirl around whether the Chinese government can get its financial system under control—or if it’s trying too hard to do so.

Even oil traders managed to look past an ongoing supply glut to send the black stuff up nearly 10% this week, the biggest rally in years.

And the VIX, the fear gauge that surged Monday to its worst levels since the financial crisis? It was down nearly 3% since last week. Turns out the only thing we had to fear was fear itself (and whatever other mayhem the Chinese economy still has in store).