That question prompted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch researchers in a note this morning. 

"The S&P 500 index peaked at 2019 roughly 8 minutes after the Sept 19th launch of the Alibaba IPO. Since then US and global stocks have fallen 10% and cyclical sectors such as energy, materials and industrials have been decimated."

This is the long-term view: Alibaba's flotation came right at 2014's peak: the S&P 500 was up about 9.8% from the start of the year on 19 September, and it's now just 2.4% up from January.

BofA's analysts say they predicted this when the dollar started to pick up this summer, suggesting a fall/autumn correction. But they also add that they'd expected a shock to rates, rather than a shock to growth, particularly from Europe. 

Things still aren't too bad, according to the economists, with the US consumer currently keeping markets out of full-blown panic mode. Here are the four main pro-consumer factors that BofA suggests will keep the US away from another downturn:

Gasoline prices are down 20% year on year to their lowest since 2010 Mortgage rates are down 100bps in the past 12 months Jobless claims are the lowest since 2000 House prices are up 7% year on year

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