The bears are back: sceptics are ready to deflate the biggest post-Christmas US stock rally in a decade

  • US stocks are set to open lower – a sign the biggest one-day market rally since 2009 will be short-lived.
  • S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq futures are all pointing to a drop of at least 1.5%. Asian and European stock benchmarks also fell.
  • Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were recently flirting with bear territory.

US stocks are set to open lower – a sign the biggest one-day market rally since 2009 will be short-lived.

It’s been a brutal month for markets, capped by a whirlwind holiday week as stocks swung from the worst Christmas Eve on record to the best day in a decade.

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 New York trading on Thursday. The major averages posted huge recoveries Wednesday, after being closed for the holiday Tuesday and posting steep declines on Christmas Eve.

On Wednesday, Wall Street attempted to shake off four sessions of sharp declines as the Dow surged 5%, or more than 1,000 points, and recorded the largest daily point gain in its history. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 climbed 4.9%.

“It’s still too early to conclude whether the market correction is over or more downside is yet to come,” said Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM. “Such rallies are not uncommon in troubled times, and we have experienced many of them in past bear markets. To call for a bottom, we need at least a couple of days of strength, not just in price, but also in trading volume, breadth of the market, and fundamentally supported environment. So far, we don’t see a shift in fundamentals.”


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‘Something is wrong’: 2 major US markets are out of whack

Political turmoil this week has added to concerns about a cocktail of factors – including slowing growth, trade tensions, and more expensive refinancing after years of stimulus – that have weighed on global markets in recent months.

Here’s the scorecard of how markets are faring about an hour into London trading:

  • In the US, S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq futures are all pointing to a drop of more than 1.5%.
  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index and the Hang Seng index each lost at least 0.6%
  • In Europe, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 lost 1.1%.
  • Oil plunged. Brent crude dropped 2.1% to $US54.11 per barrel. WTI fell 1.9%.
  • The VIX, the volatility index otherwise known as the “fear gauge,” shot up 2.2%.

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