What Causes Share Prices to Drop?

During bearish stock market trends, a palpable sense of fear and uncertainty permeates among investors, leading to widespread caution and, often, significant sell-offs. This negative sentiment is driven by economic downturns, geopolitical tensions, and adverse corporate news, which erodes confidence in the market’s prospects.

As share prices fall, the fear of loss compels even more investors to sell, further fueling the downward spiral. This self-reinforcing cycle of fear can lead to market volatility, with prices dropping sharply as buyers become scarce. In such times, the market atmosphere is apprehensive as investors anxiously watch for signs of stabilization or further declines.

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Our recent article, What Affects the Share Price, explained significant impacts.

What Causes Share Prices to Drop?

When the supply of a company’s shares exceeds its demand, share prices tend to drop. However, the actual share price movers are economic recession, high inflation, lousy company news, and regulatory changes, which can cause share prices to drop.

Here is the list of significant impacts that caused the share price to drop:

  • Economic Recession: Economic downturns reduce consumer spending and corporate profits, decreasing investor confidence and lowering share prices.
  • High Inflation: Erodes purchasing power, negatively affecting consumer spending and companies’ earnings, leading to lower share prices as investors anticipate reduced profitability.
  • Interest Rate Hikes: Central banks may increase interest rates to combat inflation, raising borrowing costs for companies and consumers, which can dampen economic growth and reduce share prices.
  • Poor Corporate Earnings: Companies reporting lower-than-expected earnings can see their share prices drop as investors adjust their expectations downward regarding future profitability.
  • Negative News and Scandals: Adverse news such as legal issues, product recalls, or scandals can harm a company’s reputation and investor trust, leading to a decline in its share price.
  • Geopolitical Tensions and Wars: Uncertainty and instability caused by geopolitical events can lead to risk-averse behavior, with investors pulling out of stocks to seek safer assets, causing share prices to drop.
  • Technological Disruption: Companies facing obsolescence due to new technological advancements may see their share prices fall as investors move their capital to more innovative firms.
  • Regulatory Changes: New regulations can impose additional costs or limit companies’ operations, particularly in sectors like banking, energy, and healthcare, negatively affecting their share prices.
  • Market Sentiment: Overall, negative market sentiment, often driven by fear and uncertainty, can lead to widespread selling and decreased share prices.
  • Rising Competition: Companies facing increased competition may experience reduced market share and profits, leading to lower share prices as investors look for better-performing investments.
  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Natural disasters, pandemics, or political instability that disrupt supply chains can increase costs and lower profits, negatively affecting share prices.
  • Dividend Cuts or Eliminations: Reducing or eliminating dividends can signal financial distress or a lack of profitability, leading investors to sell their shares and decrease the share price.
  • Stronger Currency: For companies reliant on exports, a more robust domestic currency can make their products more expensive abroad, potentially reducing sales and leading to a drop in share prices.
  • Sector-Specific Declines: Certain sectors may experience downturns due to industry-specific challenges, affecting the share prices of companies within those sectors.
  • Large Investors Selling Off: Significant sell-offs by large or institutional investors can lead to a rapid decrease in share prices due to the increased supply of shares on the market.

In my opinion, the fundamental principle of stock price drops is supply. Sometimes, traders at some important price level can decrease the price of stock despite excellent company shape and good economic conditions.

The principles of supply and demand play a fundamental role in determining share prices in the stock market. When the supply of a company’s shares exceeds its demand, share prices tend to drop. Various factors can influence this mechanism, creating a complex interplay that affects investor behavior and market perception. Let’s break down how supply and demand dynamics can lead to a decrease in share prices.

  1. Increased Supply with Constant or Decreasing Demand: If more investors decide to sell their shares, and there aren’t enough buyers willing to purchase at current prices, the supply of shares in the market increases. To attract buyers, sellers may lower their asking prices, leading to a drop in the share price. For example, suppose many company shareholders decide to sell their shares due to concerns over their future earnings but find a limited number of buyers. In that case, they may be forced to sell at lower prices, causing the share price to decline.
  2. Decreased Demand with Constant or Increasing Supply: On the flip side, if demand for a company’s shares decreases — perhaps due to negative news, poor earnings reports, or broader economic factors — without a corresponding decrease in supply, share prices will fall. Investors looking to buy will wait for lower prices before entering the market, anticipating that sellers will eventually have to lower their prices. For instance, if a scandal emerges concerning a company’s management, demand for the company’s shares might plummet as investors lose confidence, leading to a decrease in share prices as sellers outnumber buyers.
  3. Psychological Factors and Market Sentiment: The stock market is also influenced by psychological factors and market sentiment. Fear and uncertainty can decrease stock demand as investors move their money to perceived safer assets like bonds or gold. This shift in sentiment can decrease share prices as the demand for shares drops across the board.
  4. External Economic Factors: Broader economic issues such as inflation, interest rate hikes, or recession fears can decrease share demand. Inflation concerns, for example, might lead investors to anticipate central bank rate hikes, which could cool economic growth and corporate earnings. As a result, demand for stocks may decrease, leading to lower share prices.
  5. Market Events and News: Specific events or news about a company or industry can lead to a sudden shift in supply and demand dynamics. Negative news can cause investors to sell shares rapidly, increasing supply and reducing prices. Conversely, positive news might not be sufficient to increase demand if the overall market sentiment is negative or if investors are concerned about other macroeconomic factors.

High-interest rates can lead to a drop in share prices, even when companies announce excellent news, due to the broader impact of interest rates on investor behavior and economic conditions. When central banks raise interest rates, borrowing costs for individuals and businesses increase. This scenario can slow economic growth as consumers reduce spending and companies scale back on investments and expansion due to the higher cost of borrowing. Consequently, even if a company announces positive news, such as solid earnings, innovative product launches, or significant contracts, the overarching concern about slowing economic growth can dampen investor enthusiasm for stocks.

For example, imagine a leading technology firm announcing a groundbreaking new product expected to significantly boost its market share and future earnings. Under normal circumstances, such news might lead to a company stock price surge. However, if this announcement coincides with rising interest rates, investors might be more concerned about the overall economic impact of these higher rates. They may worry that consumer spending will decrease, affecting well-positioned companies’ future earnings. Additionally, higher interest rates often make fixed-income investments, such as bonds, more attractive than stocks, leading investors to shift their portfolios away from equities. This shift in investment preference can decrease demand for stocks, including those of fundamentally strong companies, thereby causing their share prices to drop despite positive company news.


Stock prices drop due to economic, corporate, and market sentiment factors influencing investor behavior and market dynamics. Economic downturns, high inflation, and interest rate hikes can decrease consumer and business spending, reducing corporate earnings and investor appetite for stocks.

Negative corporate news, such as poor earnings reports or scandals, directly impacts investor confidence in a company, leading to a sell-off of its shares. Supply and demand dynamics play a critical role, where an increased supply of shares or decreased demand can push prices down. Psychological factors, including fear and uncertainty, can exacerbate market volatility and lead to rapid declines in stock prices. Lastly, broader market sentiment, influenced by geopolitical events and macroeconomic trends, can shift investor preferences towards safer assets, further depressing stock prices.

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Igor has been a trader since 2007. Currently, Igor works for several prop trading companies. He is an expert in financial niche, long-term trading, and weekly technical levels. The primary field of Igor's research is the application of machine learning in algorithmic trading. Education: Computer Engineering and Ph.D. in machine learning. Igor regularly publishes trading-related videos on the Fxigor Youtube channel. To contact Igor write on: igor@forex.in.rs

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