U.S. stocks staged a furious rally a day after dropping to the brink of a bear market. Crude surged more than 6%.
The S&P 500 powered to its biggest rally since August 2015, driven by consumer shares that are track for the best day in seven years. Amazon led the gain, with a 7% surge sparked by record holiday sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged almost 700 points and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 4%.
President Donald Trump said a day earlier that the rout that took stocks down 19.8% from a record provided a “tremendous opportunity to buy.” Investors also welcomed Kevin Hassett’s assurance that Jerome Powell’s job is “100%” safe. Oil’s best rally since 2016 added to the equity surge.
Stocks are looking to stop one of the most miserable Decembers on record, as a host of headwinds combined to drag down America’s benchmark index. A reminder that consumers—a key part of the American economy—remain on solid footing helped soothe anxiety created by fears of a global slowdown and personnel churn in the U.S. administration. Volume was in-line with the 30 day average at this time of day.
“It was probably a pretty good retail-oriented holiday and that probably has a lot to do with what’s happening today,” said Kim Forrest, a senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group. “The thing that the Fed chairman won’t be axed, that has a lot to do with everyone being happy Powell gets to keep his job and that the turmoil about this has abated for today. You have the market leaning one way or the other, and it can often do what it’s doing today, which is go higher. On Monday the market leaned lower. It’s an outsize move.”
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.