It was back-to-school and back to work last week, as the unofficial end of summer dawned, and reality bit.
The holiday-shortened week felt like a fulsome one, due to a fair amount of economic data, the European Central Bank meeting, and the most unsettling aspect of last week's news: The North Korea nuclear test, which set off tremors, literally and figuratively across the Korean peninsula and around-the-world.
The North Korea nuclear test was just the kind of news that tips over a shaky market, as worries grow about a possible response and reaction to it, by other countries.
The biggest letdown and primary driver of Friday's sell-off was the statements by ECB President Mario Draghi, on Thursday, who, by emphasizing the March end date of its asset purchase program, seemed to be taking a newly hawkish stand.
Speeches and comments from various Federal Reserve officials seemed to take on a renewed hawkish stance, for the most part, bolstering Chairwoman Janet Yellen's recent remark that the case for an interest rate hike has strengthened recently.
Finally, it appears the Bank of Japan is now looking to steepen its yield curve, by purchasing fewer amounts of longer-dated securities.
All of that adds up to rough sailing for the equity markets, and Friday was just a preview.