August again lives up to its reputation as a downbeat month for stocks

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during opening bell in New York City on August 21, 2023. 

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Wall Street is really suffering through the dog days of August.

The S&P 500 is down more than 3% this month, on pace to snap a five-month-long winning streak. The broader market index is also on track to post its worst monthly performance since December — when it lost 5.9%.

The Nasdaq Composite is also headed for its biggest one-month loss since December, falling 5.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 3% in August.

These pullbacks are a contrast to the market rally seen earlier this year. The Nasdaq Composite had its best first-half performance in 40 years in 2023. The S&P 500’s gains over the first six months of the year marked the index’s best start to a year since 2021.

There are several things pressuring Wall Street now, ranging from seasonal factors to concerns about the global economy and the Federal Reserve. Here’s a breakdown.

Stock Chart IconStock chart icon

Tough month for the S&P 500

August. Historically a tough month

China’s struggles

Higher Treasury yields


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