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How major U.S. stock indexes fared Wednesday

29 December, 2018, 11:36 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • US stocks attempt rebound

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.9 percent to 2,488.83 after being down 2.8 percent at midday.

Most Asian stock markets gained while Japan edged down following Wall Street's rally at the end of a turbulent week. "At this point the best gift Saint Nick can give us is a stable market". Even so, the market remains headed for what could be its steepest annual loss since the financial crisis.

The S&P has lost 7.7 percent in the past four sessions, ending Monday at a 20-month low and 19.8 percent below its all-time closing high, just shy of the 20-percent threshold that commonly defines a bear market. The index is still clocking its biggest percentage drop in any December since the Great Depression and roughly three-quarters of its stocks are in bear market.

"There are reasons we should be volatile, including a lot of unknowns as we head into 2019, starting with tariffs", said JJ Kinahan, chief markets strategist for TD Ameritrade, noting that below-average trading volume this time of year is also contributing to the market's volatility this week. Investors had grown anxious that the testy U.S. "Gains would be a nice extra, but less volatility would help support confidence in the market, and permit longer-term investment decisions - by investors and corporate planners".

Energy stocks rose 3.28 per cent as crude oil prices rebounded, while the communication services and healthcare indexes also rose more than 2 per cent.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 25.20 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 2,442.50. Earlier, it had been down more than 69 points. It is the largest single-day point gain in the history of the Dow. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 361.44 points, or 5.84 percent, to 6,554.36.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory, with the technology sector after being beaten up during the recent pullback, rising 6.1 percent.

The Dow finished Monday 18.9 per cent lower than its closing high, not far off from joining the Nasdaq, the Dow Jones Transport Average and small-cap Russell 2000 index in bear market territory.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 3.5 percent to settle at $44.61 a barrel in NY. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained $1 to $53.73 per barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.58 yen from Thursday's 111.01 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1449 from $1.1351.

To be exact, the Dow gained 1086.25 points Wednesday.

Inc jumped 6.12 per cent after reporting a "record-breaking" season. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index was up less than 1 percent, while markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong were down less than half a percent.

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