Mike Santoli’s market notes: Breaking down what's behind the sell-off

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Sept. 14, 2020.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

This is the daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC's senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks and market statistics.

  • Asking the market what it's upset about today and you'll get the answer Marlon Brando's biker-gang leader gave in "The Wild One" when asked what he was rebelling against: "What do you got?"
  • All the pressure points are right in the headlines – Europe Covid curve/lockdown fears, fears of a fall/winter without further fiscal help, Microsoft lowering guidance on softer IT spending, an impending election sapping risk appetites. Taken together they drain investors' ability/willingness to look across the economic valley to the cyclical snapback, pushing off the likely start date of "Back to normal" time.