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Conventional wisdom says that what goes up must come down. But even if you view market volatility as a normal occurrence, it can be tough to handle when your money is at stake. Though there's no foolproof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense tips can help.

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The Markets (as of market close October 1, 2021)

A rally last Friday helped drive stocks generally higher last week. The Dow, the Russell 2000, and the Global Dow were able to post gains, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed the week in the red. Declines in the market sectors were broad-based, with only energy (5.8%) climbing higher. Growth shares fared worse than value stocks, as evidenced by the dip in the tech-heavy Nasdaq. While the federal government averted a partial shutdown, no progress was made on raising the federal debt limit.

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The Markets (third quarter through September 30, 2021)

Overall, the third quarter was a roller-coaster ride for the market. The Dow, the Russell 2000, the Nasdaq, and the Global Dow lost value, while the S&P 500 was able to eke out a quarterly gain. Treasury yields, the dollar, and crude oil prices ended the third quarter higher, while gold prices dipped lower. Financials, information technology, communication services, and health care ended the quarter in the black. Energy, industrials, and materials fell by at least 4.5%. Despite the downturns, the benchmark indexes remain well ahead of their 2020 closing values, led by the S&P 500, which ended the quarter nearly 15.0% over last year's pace.

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Stocks climbed higher in August, despite a drop in consumer confidence amid the spread of the Delta variant and the possibility of travel restrictions.
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