Wall St Falls at Open after Dow's Record-breaking Surge

A five-year-old exchange-traded fund tracking momentum shares rose 5.6 percent, its best day ever.

The major USA stock markets shot upward in record fashion Wednesday after a few days of gloom that dragged them to what had been shaping up to be their worst December performance ever.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 25.20 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 2,442.50.

All three major US indexes - Dow, S&P and Nasdaq - finished down 2 percent or more on Christmas Eve.

That overshadowed positive noises from the US government on trade talks with Beijing, its efforts to temper the White House's recent broadsides against the Federal Reserve and a Mastercard Inc report that USA holiday shopping sales had risen the most in six years in 2018.

According to Goldman Sachs, the recent market pessimism is "overstated". Markets in Ireland, Britain, Germany and France were closed on.

"I think we will probably end up finishing the year going up, unless something insane happens", he said in an interview a day before the Fed's most recent decision to raise interest rates. Amazon slid 5.2 percent to $1,395. Then on Monday, President Donald Trump slammed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for continuing to raise interest rates, fueling fears he could try to fire him.

Barely seven stocks on the S&P 500 were higher, while all the 30 components of the Dow were in the red.

The S&P is now down 15.8 percent since its all-time high on September 20.

The president on Christmas Day cast fresh doubt on the record of Powell, whom he has increasingly blamed for the market weakness.

With losses of 9.5 per cent for the year, 14.5 per cent off its late- September high, the S&P-ASX 200 index was poised for its worst year since the 14.5 per cent loss in 2011. I am 100 percent not saying we are in a situation like 2008 now, but look at October 10, 2008 to October 13, 2008: the market rose almost 12 percent in one day.

U.S. stock futures were in negative territory for much of the night, but recovered their losses later on.

With more than 20 years' trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

"Moreover, there are still a number of positives that risk getting lost in the gloom, such as a relatively high personal saving rate, a sizable private sector financial surplus, and strong real income growth on the back of rising wage growth and lower oil prices".

Much will hinge on how resilient the US economy remains in 2019.

Oil prices were a bright spot, with the United States benchmark oil price up by 10 per cent to $46.79 a barrel and the global benchmark price, Brent crude, increasing 9 per cent to $55.14.

The dollar fell to 110.53 yen from 111.36 yen on Wednesday. (2.9 percent), and American Airlines (2.9 percent). The euro strengthened to $1.1444 from $1.1351.


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