Dow rings in new year with a downer

Dow Jones loses 276 points

SAN ANTONIO – The party is over. The stock market rang in the new year by tanking more than 350 points at the opening bell, the worst market start to a new year since 1932.

After a rocky day that saw the Dow slide down 460 points,  it recovered a bit closing down 276 points.

Investors were coping with a headache hangover from last  year: worries about China's economy. The Chinese markets crashed, causing a global reaction. Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran also added to the uncertainty.

"It's the global economy we're part of," said Kent Copeland, financial adviser with Ameriprise.

He cautioned January is often a jittery month for the markets. And, although many 401ks took a hit Monday, he said it's no time to panic.

"A 401k is designed to produce money for you over a period of years and years," he said.

Those likely to feel the impact and angst the most are people about to retire.

"I would remind you, though, that retirement is not like buying a car," Copeland said. "You don't need all the money on one day."

The markets took a clobbering all day with the S&P and Nasdaq also in the red. The Dow was down more than 460 points at one point mid-day.

Despite the stormy start, the financial forecast for 2016 is less gloomy, according to Copeland.

"Most of the economic experts are anticipating sort of a slow growth kind of situation," he said.

His advice: keep calm and diversify.

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