Major market indexes rose sharply in midday trading as Wall Street sought to recover from severe losses on Christmas Eve.
As of 1:30 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 435 points, or 2 percent, to 22,228 points — with the S&P 500 soaring 49 points, or 2 percent, to nearly 2,400 points. (The Nasdaq Composite, which has already entered bear market territory, remains in the red.)
Big-name retailers including Nordstrom, Target and Kohl’s also saw their stock pop following news that U.S. retailers recorded their best holiday shopping period in six years. Separately, Amazon jumped 82 points, or 6 percent, after announcing record-breaking sales this season.
What We Reported Earlier: Dow Erases Wednesday Morning Gains After Christmas Eve Sell-Off
The stock market is attempting a comeback from a disastrous Christmas Eve performance as it approaches the final days of one of the most chaotic years for investors in Wall Street history.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 200 points higher on Wednesday but erased those gains in late-morning trading. The S&P 500 climbed nearly 30 points, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded a more than 100-point hike, but both have since dipped into the red.
Equities closed early in a holiday-shortened session the day before Christmas, which saw benchmark indexes take a nosedive in the worst Christmas Eve trading period ever recorded.
The Dow plummeted upwards of 600 points, and the S&P lingered on the verge of a bear market following media reports that President Donald Trump was considering the removal of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
“The only problem our economy has is the Fed,” Trump tweeted. “They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch — he can’t putt!”
The sell-off also came after a partial shutdown of the government as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s conference call with the heads of the country’s six largest banks in a bid to assess their liquidity. The Treasury Department put investors on edge after issuing a statement on Sunday evening confirming that the banks had “ample liquidity” to lend to consumers, businesses and other market operations.
Yesterday, the president renewed his criticism of the central bank, which recently raised interest rates to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent — the fourth rate hike this year and the ninth since December 2015.
“They’re raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, according to a Reuters report.
However, he added: “I have great confidence in our companies. We have companies — the greatest in the world — and they’re doing really well. They have record kinds of numbers. So I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to buy.”
U.S. stocks have suffered in the recent month, with both the Dow and S&P heading for their worst December since the Great Depression in 1931. The retail sector is also on pace for its worst quarter since 2008.
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