Christmas arrived late for the stock market, with Wall Street receiving a generous post-holiday gift as benchmark indexes surged sharply to erase the losses of a cataclysmic Dec. 24 trading session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1,086 points, or almost 5 percent, at market close — partly thanks to retail, which recorded its best holiday shopping season in six years. Similarly, the S&P 500 ended the day up nearly 5 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite approached a 6 percent hike.
The numbers represent the Dow’s largest single-day point increase ever recorded and its best daily percentage gain for all indexes since 2009.
Major retailers including Nordstrom, Target and Kohl’s also saw a jump in their stocks, with e-tail behemoth Amazon ascending 82 points, or 6 percent, upon the announcement that it had posted record-breaking sales this holiday season.
Markets remained closed on Christmas Day after closing early on Monday in a shortened session. It became the worst Christmas Eve trading period ever recorded, with the Dow sinking more than 600 points and the S&P teetering on the brink of bear market territory.
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The Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates, coupled with a partial shutdown of the government and worries over President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China, were among the major contributors to the last month’s hasty sell-off.
Despite the positive performance, investors, businesses and consumers are still jittery amid volatility and uncertainty on Wall Street. The market remained in the red for all of 2018, with both the Dow and S&P on pace for their worst December since the Great Depression in 1931.
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