An incredible day on Wall Street, where major indexes finished at least 5 per cent higher, lifted Japanese stocks but garnered a mixed reaction elsewhere in Asia and Europe on Thursday as some traders returned from a Christmas break. The huge selloff saw the S&P 500 tumbling to the brink of a bear market.
China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.6 percent.
All three indexes have fallen for four straight sessions. And a report late in the session that a US delegation will visit Beijing in early January for trade talks gave stocks a final push.
The S&P.SPX was up 24.41 points, or 1.04 percent, at 2,375.51, at 11:37 a.m. ET, a day after the Christmas holiday. The S&P 500 also lost 7 percent for the week and is now down 17.8 percent from its record reached earlier in the year. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 jumped 1.9 per cent to 5,597.20.
However, the trading session follows a generally poor December for stocks.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.70-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.89-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. Copper gained 1.5 per cent to $2.70 a pound.
How did the Benchmarks Perform? "Trade tensions between the US and China remain the biggest unknown factor for 2019", said Hussein Sayed, a strategist at online brokerage FXTM. Shares of Caterpillar, Inc. Caterpillar has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs and 194 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 455 new lows. The Nasdaq Composite is up 2.5 percent at 6,349. "It's somewhat telling that we didn't cross it, we didn't officially enter into a bear market". Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. For most of the last decade, markets powered higher in a largely smooth and gradual way. "It's been nine years, 10 years, so it's going to be a shock to some of the newer investors who were not around in 2008 or in prior market turns". The tweet raised questions about the liquidity of these banks.
Many investors have been unnerved by a variety of factors, including the partial US government shutdown, the US-China trade war and Trump's ongoing criticism of Fed Chair Powell. Additionally, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced he would step down at the end of February, saying his views do not align with the president's.
"In fact, it was the worst Christmas Eve in the history of Wall Street", he added.
"This is a market selling off as if it believes that we are headed in to a stall". Hence, the stock market plunged after the Fed's announcement.
Another safe-haven, gold, was up 0.4 per cent, remaining just below a six-month peak hit earlier this week. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent.
The major U.S. stock markets are in or teetering on the brink of bear markets.
"Although his intention was a very good one, the net feeling I think was, 'Is there a bigger problem that we don't know about?'" J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago, told Reuters.
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