U.S. stocks sink as historic rally falters; oil slips

U.S. stocks sink as historic rally falters; oil slips

On Monday the market leaned lower.

According to CNBC, "retailers were among the best performers on Wednesday..." The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 1,000 points, posting its biggest daily point gain on record.

Bonds prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.78 percent from 2.79 percent late Wednesday, although the yield dropped as low as 2.73 percent when stocks were near their lowest levels as investors sought safer investments.

USA stocks are staging a furious late-afternoon rally Thursday, closing with gains after erasing a 600-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

"If the consumer gets cold feet, then one of the economy's major engines may fail to keep the economy flying high", said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. The Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent and Australia's S&P-ASX 200 jumped 1.9 percent.

A few things might have shaken the bears' grip. Worries about rising interest rates, Donald Trump's attacks on the Federal Reserve for raising those rates, a government shutdown and the continuing trade tensions between the United States and China have all rattled investors and the major indices are now on the brink of a bear market - a 20% fall from their most recent high. Trump expressed confidence in Mnuchin on Tuesday. Marathon Petroleum rose 1.9 percent to $55.36. "It's somewhat telling that we didn't cross it, we didn't officially enter into a bear market".

A global equity rally fueled by a dramatic surge on Wall Street ran out of steam on Thursday, after a fall in Chinese industrial profits offered a reminder of the pressures on the world economy. The S&P 500 came within 2 points of falling 20 percent from its late-September closing high, a threshold commonly used to define a bear market.

Gainers outnumbered losers in the S&P 500 by 3 to 2.

Stocks rocketed on Wednesday in Wall Street's best day in 10 years, snapping a stomach-churning, four-day losing streak and giving some post-Christmas hope to a market that has been battered this December. The call was a signal to the market, at least for a day, that Mnuchin perhaps knew something bad coming down the pike.

Still, a bull can hope.

The Dow Jones lost 2.9 percent and the benchmark S&P500 lost 2.7 percent after the president's tweet expressing frustration over the Fed's decision to raise its key short-term rate. Copper fell 1.2 percent to $2.67 a pound. "My goodness, we have to go back a long way - the 2008-2009 meltdown - to look at a time that was more volatile", said Manning. "But with low liquidity and trading models responsible for the majority of trades in recent days, it might not be until the new year till you see greater stability", said Reilly. "This is just a face ripping short cover rally". Brent crude, used to price global oils, was down 2.6 percent to $53.34 a barrel in London. Microsoft rose 3 percent to $96.89. "It's looking for a bottom".

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