US stocks surge for the second straight day, Dow jumps more than 400 points

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  • US stocks surged for a second-straight trading day on Monday, extending gains after a volatile week in which the three major indexes slumped into a correction – a 10% drop from recent highs.
  • The decline coincided with new concerns about inflation and was worsened by the wrecking of trades that had bet on low volatility.

US stocks extended gains from late Friday, lifting the market further away from correction territory.

The three major indexes plummeted into correction – a 10% drop from recent peaks – last week after a long, unusually stable period that helped catapult them to record highs. The 5.2% weekly decline for the S&P 500 was the worst in two years.

Just after the market closed at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 408 points, or 1.7%.

The S&P 500 was up 36 points (1.4%), while the Nasdaq was up 107 points (1.6%).

“You almost could hear a collective sigh of relief on Friday when the market closed higher on the day – and ahead of a weekend at that,” John Stoltzfus, the chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, said in a note on Monday.

“While we believe that the majority of the sell-off may be over for now, there is likely to be a continuation of recurring volatility as speculative positions are unwound by some investors and as still others ponder some of the worry-items that helped cause the market stumble.”

Last week’s correction was worsened by a scramble out of exchange-traded notes that were designed to profit from calmer market activity. After the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, had a record intraday rise last Monday, the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF erased an estimated $US3 billion within minutes.

The sell-off coincided with a renewed concern among investors about how the Federal Reserve would use higher interest rates to deal with inflation; the January jobs report released February 2 showed the fastest year-over-year wage growth since 2008.

The release this Wednesday of the Consumer Price Index for January will provide some more clarity on inflation.

Treasurys also rebounded after selling off earlier on Monday; the yield on the 10-year note had touched a four-year high above 2.9%.

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