After a relatively tame first seven months of the year, volatility spiked in August. The market is oscillating to trade rumours as it has done for the past two years, but with a twist: scepticism is building, concern is deepening and fresh promises of “trade truce coming” no longer provide a lasting lift for stocks. In a reversal of the multiyear trend, selloffs have become bone-rattling. Down sessions are fiercer than buy-the-dip rallies, several of which have faded away into the close. On top of that, investors are having to contend with potential pitfalls on multiple fronts – Brexit, yield-curve inversions, negative global bond yields, concerns over corporate profits, massive debt, weak global growth and global warming.