Markets Right Now: Stocks surge on Wall Street

Markets Right Now: Stocks surge on Wall Street

Stocks slumped for most of the day as the selling that had gripped the market for most of December resumed.

The previous record point gain for the Dow was 936.42 on October 13, 2008, when markets were whipsawed nearly daily by developments in the financial crisis, which was then in full swing. The S&P 500 retailing index .SPXRT jumped 7.4 percent, while shares of online retailer Amazon AMZN.O , which touted a "record-breaking" season, climbed 9.4 percent. After meeting with the CEOs of the six largest USA banks, Mnuchin tweeted that banks had "ample liquidity" to meet the needs of borrowers.

"We expect a relief rally that may continue for a few days as end of the quarter window dressing ups the chances of bargain hunting", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in NY.

In other trading Wednesday, South Korea's Kospi gave up 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index, which plunged 5 percent on Tuesday, picked up 0.9 percent. "I suspect there may be less human being trades selling stocks here, than there are just mindless computer-driven trades following the latest trend".

The S&P 500 is up 41 points or 1.7 percent to 2,391 at midday.

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IG Market Analyst Kyle Rodda says a lot has transpired during the Christmas period to affect the Australian markets, including huge sell-offs in certain markets, and an ample bounce in US Stocks. "You can not make the assumption that this correction is over, but today's action is definitely a very positive signal".

The S&P 500 index rose 116.60 points, or 5 per cent, to 2,467.70. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained $1 to $53.73 per barrel in London.

Health care and technology companies, banks and industrial stocks accounted for much of the broad gains.

Bank stocks fell along with Treasury yields.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory, with the technology sector after being beaten up during the recent pullback, rising 6.1 percent.

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The S&P broke a four-session streak of declines. Still, Pan said, "one would likely flinch to call this a bottom yet", leaving a "mixed picture as we head into the end of the year". It's looking for a reason to gain a little more confidence.

On Wednesday, Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, weighed in, saying Powell is in no danger of being fired, The Wall Street Journal reported. "So far, we don't see a shift in fundamentals".

"I think the market is realizing that the Fed is open to being more flexible", Ewing said.

"Year-end trading can be slow, as window-dressing can easily take over trades", Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices told The Washington Post.

About 9.5 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, above the 9.1 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

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