Humana shares fell 3.4 percent Friday. In two days, the company’s market cap fell by $1.8 billion. | Courtesy of Nasdaq

The stock market plunge in the last two trading days has lowered the value of Louisville-based companies by billions of dollars: Humana, alone, was worth about $1.8 billion less Monday night than when markets closed Thursday.

Yum Brands’ market cap fell by more than $1.4 billion in the same period. Brown-Forman’s was down nearly $900 million. The value of Texas Roadhouse and Papa John’s each fell more than $200 million. Churchill Downs market cap declined by $120 million.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday fell 4.6 percent, or 1,175 points — its largest single-day point decline. And that’s after recovering from a near-1,600 point plunge earlier in the day. In percentage terms, however, the drop did not crack the Top 20.

Shares of some of the most prominent local corporate giants — Yum Brands, Humana, Brown-Forman — all fell around 3.5 percent on Monday. Papa John’s plunged 6.15 percent. Large local employers not based in Louisville also got hammered: Shares of UPS declined 2.7 percent. Ford fell 4.4 percent.

CNN called it the “scariest day on Wall Street in years.” The Associated Press reported that the S&P 500 has fallen 7.8 percent since its record high on Jan. 26.

You can thank Punxsutawney Phil: The plunge began on Groundhog Day. Actually, some traders are blaming bots: Marketplace reported that Bob Phillips, of Spectrum Management Group, said that algorithms probably triggered the selloff and then also the rebound.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, said that investors are worried about rising inflation prompting the Federal Reserve to raise rates more quickly,  and that “could slow down economic growth by making it make it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money. And bond yields haven’t been this high in years. That’s making bonds more appealing to investors compared with stocks.”

Investors have long predicted a market correction of 10 percent or so, which are common during bull markets.

Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.


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