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Stock Market Volatility: A Rise in Fear or a Return to Normal Conditions?

Increased volatility in the U.S. stock market has been a recent topic of debate in the financial media. As a typical rule of thumb, when stock markets go down, volatility goes up. From Presidential tweets to the Syrian conflict to rising interest rates, many different topics have served to weigh on the stock market in 2018, resulting in a subsequent rise in volatility. The question becomes: is it such a bad thing to see relatively higher volatility?