Markets Right Now: Stocks surge on Wall Street

Oscar PerryDec 29, 2018

American exchanges were closed on Tuesday for the Christmas holiday, but stocks are inheriting downside momentum from a Monday plunge when they recorded their worst Christmas Eve trading ever - and the S&P 500 entered a bear market.

"The markets are in panic mode that the United States economy is tanking", Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading for online broker Oanda, said.

After strong holiday sales report from Mastercard on Wednesday, investors will watch for the consumer confidence data due at 10:00 am ET, which is likely to show the index fell to 133.7 in December from 135.7 in the month before. Administration officials had spent the weekend trying to assure financial markets that Fed chairman Jerome Powell's job was safe. -China trade war have led investors to fear the short-term trend of the market, with some anticipating a full-blown recession to hit the US economy.

The market apparently got a lift Wednesday when Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the Fed chairman is in no danger of being fired.

The Dow was whirling between slightly negative to 200 points up in the first hours of Wednesday's session before its early afternoon lift on the tails of surging blue chips Apple, Home Depot, Microsoft, Visa and Nike.

BUYBACK BOOST: JD.com rose 1.5 percent to $20.02 after the Chinese e-commerce company's board authorized a stock buyback program of up to $1 billion.

At the close of trading Wednesday, all three major indexes had posted their largest daily percentage increase since March 2009. The Nasdaq Composite is up 2.5 percent at 6,349.

The broader S&P 500 index also gained 5 percent, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq rose 5.8 percent.

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US stocks staged one of the biggest rallies of the 9 1/2 year bull market after coming within points of seeing it end, with major indexes surging at least 4.9 per cent. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 7.9 percent to $54.47 a barrel in London.

Trading volume was lighter than usual following the Christmas holiday. Consumer discretionary, energy and technology were leading the way. Another day of heavy losses would have marked the end of longest bull market for stocks in modern history - a run of almost 10 years. "They have record kinds of numbers. Really a great opportunity to buy".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1,086.25 points, or 4.98 percent, to 22,878.45.

During Christmas, the e-commerce giant said that it reached record high sales, pushing the stock price of Amazon up 7.1 percent on the day. A correction is generally defined as a 20 percent retreat off recent highs. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 62.89 points, or 5 percent, 1,329.81.

The president's Christmas criticism of the US central bank triggered a drop in Asian equities on Tuesday.

Troise said the Treasury call begs the question of whether Mnuchin has "no idea what he's doing" or if "there actually is a liquidity crisis".

Wall Street's wild Christmas week rolls on.

Still, the oil market is coming off a year of high supply, and we'll have to see if economic conditions are favorable enough to help soak up a sufficient amount of that supply to move oil prices meaningfully higher.

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