Published: Sat, December 29, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

United States stocks lose momentum a day after Dow's record gain

United States stocks lose momentum a day after Dow's record gain

US stocks were attempting a modest rebound on Wednesday, boosted by technology shares and an Amazon-led jump in retailers, following four sessions of steep losses that pushed the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials near bear market territory.

All three major USA indexes - Dow, S&P and Nasdaq - finished down 2 percent or more on Christmas Eve.

The S&P 500 index fell 44 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,423 as of 12:55 p.m. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 82 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 6,471.

"Today the market's message is that we have nothing to fear but fear itself", said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. Many economic barometers still look encouraging. Amazon led the gain, with a 7% surge sparked by record holiday sales. That's down from a 5.5 percent yearly gain in the previous month.

The selloff erased more than $3 trillion in value from the S&P 500 index this month.

As investors desperately hope for any good news - whether from the administration or the Federal Reserve - to stop the stocks from their free fall, there is still value in the market to profit from.

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But concerns about a slowing global economy and the protracted trade dispute with China have not gone away, and they are likely to put pressure on the market again in coming days.

USA stocks are set to open lower - a sign the biggest one-day market rally since 2009 will be short-lived.

The partial government shutdown that began over the weekend has weighed on the market.

Gold edged up 0.6 percent to $1,281.10 an ounce and silver gained 1.2 percent to $15.31 an ounce.

Stocks are down sharply, unable to build on the prior day's strong performance, as Wall Street stumbles toward what could be its steepest annual loss since the financial crisis.

Other major indices including the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rebounded after a tumultuous session on Christmas Eve. KeyCorp declined 2.5 percent to $14.35 as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.76 percent from 2.79 percent late Wednesday.

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Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.84-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.80-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 16 points, or 1.2 per cent, 1,313.

"From a tactical standpoint, you can expect a reflex rally", said Canaccord Genuity equity strategist Tony Dwyer in a note released ahead of Wednesday's session.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 3.5 percent to settle at $44.61 a barrel in NY.

Even as some people on Main Street may have been heading out to the mall to burn off some of that holiday roast, consumer discretionary stocks were the biggest gainers on Wall Street. Noble Energy slid 4.1 percent to $18.31.

Oil plunged. Brent crude dropped 2.1% to $54.11 per barrel. On Monday, the Dow logged a almost 3 percent loss - breaking a 100-year-old record for the worst showing on Christmas Eve. Copper fell 1.2 percent to $2.67 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 110.57 yen from 110.41 yen on Monday. The euro advanced to $1.1456 from $1.1430. 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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