After enduring the worst Christmas Eve trading session on record, stock markets staged a record rally today as bulls triumphed over bears wary of the churning political climate around trade and U.S. fiscal policy.
The Dow, which plunged 600 points two days ago, had its biggest one-day gain in history, rising 1,086 points (nearly 5%) to finish at 22,878. The Nasdaq bounced back with a 5.8% increase, with only a single stock (that of Chinese internet company NetEase) posting a decline on the day. The S&P 500, up nearly 5%, also erased all of its Monday losses.
Media and tech stocks — especially the long-battered latter — benefited from the upswing. Media companies, including Disney, Comcast, AT&T, Fox and CBS, gained between 3% and 5%. Tech firms, whose stocks have been trounced in the second half of 2018 for an array of reasons, came back strong.
Amazon jumped more than 9%, while Netflix and Facebook rose by more than 8%, and Apple and Alphabet posted gains of 7% and 6%, respectively.
Roku climbed 12%, not just on the strength of the overall sentiment on Wall Street but also after the streaming company was singled out by Needham & Co. as the firm’s No. 1 stock of 2019.
The go-go day does not mean that the current period of volatility is over, however.
Debate continues to percolate about the role of the Federal Reserve in dictating the state of the U.S. economy. President Donald Trump has harshly criticized the bank in recent weeks, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also the subject of “is his job safe?” speculation. Trump has clashed with China over trade, describing himself as “tariff man” in a tweet that some Wall Streeters blame for recent market losses.