Wall Street stocks surge with Dow Jones setting one-day record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped about 300 points early today, a day after notching its biggest-ever point gain, as the market endures a bout of volatility to end what has been a topsy-turvy year.

US stocks posted their worst Christmas Eve session ever on Monday, as a ideal storm of concerns drove investors to bail out of a market that was already badly bruised. Nasdaq rose 5.8 percent or 361 points to 6,554. "The combination of higher mortgage rates and higher home prices rising faster than incomes and wages means fewer people can afford to buy a house", said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The market remains on track for its worst December since 1931 and could finish 2018 with its steepest losses in a decade.

To say that US stocks trading has been odd this week seems like an understatement. Among big retailers, Amazon rose 9.4 percent, Kohl's 10.3 percent and Nordstrom 5.8 percent.

The partial government shutdown that began over the weekend has weighed on the market.

The S&P.SPX was up 24.41 points, or 1.04 percent, at 2,375.51, at 11:37 a.m. ET, a day after the Christmas holiday.

In a recent op-ed, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board echoed Trump's worries, urging Fed policymakers to pay attention to market signals.

USA stock futures pointed to a slight rebound Wednesday morning in the wake of Wall Street's steep fall on Monday.

Stocks rose higher despite virtually no news - which may have been a catalyst in its own right. It was also the first time the S&P fell by more than 1 percent on Christmas Eve. Health care and technology companies, banks and industrial stocks accounted for much of the gains.

Even with Wednesday's big gains, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all down more than 10 percent for the month.

Analysts also took heart from a almost nine percent jump in USA oil prices, the biggest in more than two years and another bounce back following recent weakness in petroleum markets.

Futures of both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, which were recently flirting with bear territory, plunged at least 1.4% in early morning NY trading on Thursday. The Dow slid 359 points, or 1.5 percent, to 22,520. Credit card company Visa climbed 7 percent, and Mastercard was up 6.7 percent.

Yet some analysts have argued that the stock market's weakness in December has been disproportionate to economic conditions at a time when unemployment is low and growth is still solid. KeyCorp declined 3.7 percent to $14.16 as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.74 percent from 2.79 percent late Wednesday.

The S&P broke a four-session streak of declines and despite Wednesday's surge, it remained on track for its biggest monthly percentage drop since 2009.

European markets were also mixed, with Frankfurt's DAX showing a small gain, while the FTSE 100 (London) and the CAC 40 (Paris) moved lower.

All three major exchanges posted their largest single-day point increase on record.

Retail, technology, and energy stocks were among the best performers.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.4 percent to 19,986.32.