U.S. stocks staged a furious rally a day after dropping to the brink of a bear market. Crude surged more than 6 percent.
The S&P 500 powered to its first advance in five days, driven by consumer shares that are on track for the best day in seven years. Amazon led the gain, with a 7 percent surge sparked by record holiday sales.
President Donald Trump said a day earlier that the plunge that took stocks down 19.8 percent from a record provided a “tremendous opportunity to buy.” Investors also welcomed Kevin Hassett’s assurance that Jerome Powell’s job is “100 percent” safe. Oil’s best rally since 2016 added to the equity surge.
Stocks are rallying the most since August 2015, looking to stop one of the most miserable Decembers on record, as a host of headwinds combined to drag down America’s benchmark index. Year-end and Christmas disruption has arrived just as fears of a global slowdown and personnel churn in the U.S. administration sap confidence. Volume was in-line with the 30 day average at this time of day.
Hassett was the latest government official to try to calm the markets after Bloomberg’s report Friday that President Donald Trump asked about firing Powell. Steven Mnuchin was criticized for saying he called bank chiefs to gauge liquidity. Trump expressed confidence in Mnuchin yesterday, but CNN reported the Treasury secretary’s job is in jeopardy.
“These are incredibly tricky markets to decipher, as the outsized moves are not reflective of the current U.S. economic landscape,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda Corp. in Singapore. “But that seems to matter little so far, as fear-mongering continues to permeate every pocket of global capital markets.”