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Published: Jan 11, 2021 6 min read

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There are many ways to describe the past year — chaotic, devastating and scary all come to mind. But from the pandemic to increased racial tensions and widespread job loss, investors seemed mostly unfazed.

As people stayed isolated in their homes to avoid a deadly virus, stocks hit record highs. When protests broke out across the country in May after George Floyd was killed by police, the market kept going up. Then last week, a mob of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol and — once again — the market didn’t flinch, with the Dow closing at a record-high of 30,829 on Wednesday.

Yet, we often hear that the stock market hates uncertainty. So why is the market digesting all this bad news so well? And will it continue to do so in the future?

Do the markets really hate uncertainty?

There’s truth to the saying that the market hates uncertainty, but experts say it depends on what investors are uncertain about. They’re focused on events that will change policy or have a big economic impact on businesses. So while COVID-19 hitting the U.S. in March shook investors as businesses closed and a recession looked likely, events like last week’s violence at the Capitol — while it may have significant social and political consequences — aren’t likely to spell doom and gloom for Wall Street.