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Wall Street's biggest fear isn't Covid. It's inflation

   March 17, 2021 6:21 AM
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by Matt Egan, CNN Business

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New York (CNN Business)Coronavirus fears shook Wall Street to its core last March. The Dow crashed nearly 3,000 points — a stunning 13% — a year ago today.

Flash forward 12 months and the health crisis is not over, but investors are increasingly confident it soon will be. For the first time since February 2020, Covid-19 is no longer the No. 1 fear among portfolio managers surveyed by Bank of America, the bank said Tuesday.

If anything, experienced investors are now concerned that the economy could recover so rapidly that it overheats.

Inflation is now the top risk cited by portfolio managers polled by Bank of America. The second most common concern is taper tantrums, which occur when markets freak out over surging bond yields.

The findings underscore how drastically the situation has changed during the past year. Confidence is growing because of the rollout of vaccines, easing health safety restrictions and unprecedented support from the federal government.

"Investor sentiment [is] unambiguously bullish," Bank of America strategists wrote in the Tuesday report.

US stocks recovered swiftly from the pandemic. The Dow bottomed at 18,592 on March 23. The index is up a staggering 77% since then. The Nasdaq has doubled over that span.

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