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What to expect if the markets take a coronavirus ‘swan’ dive

Black swans. You are going to start hearing about these birds a lot if the stock market keeps going lower because of the worldwide coronavirus scare. No, the swans didn’t cause the virus. The phrase “black swans” is a metaphor for an event that happens as a surprise and has a major effect. The coronavirus, in other words, is an event — a black swan — that investors didn’t expect when they bid up stock prices to levels that reached bubblicious proportions. The only problem with that metaphor is that black swans really aren’t all that rare in nature. And potential black swans certainly aren’t in short supply these days, with international tensions, political battles, monetary surprises and the like all waiting thei ...