Wall St falls at open after Dow's record-breaking surge

US stocks attempt rebound

Wall Street saw its worst preforming Christmas Eve drop this year, with the benchmark S&P 500 getting very close to dropping into bear market territory.

The NASDAQ index, led by high tech companies, rose 361.44 points to close at 6,554.36, a gain of 5.84 percent for the day.

The benchmark S&P 500 had risen sharply, up 5 per cent to 2,468.

Hickey does have one painful reminder for investors: Even a 20% gain would leave the S&P 500 below its all-time high.

In Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.9 percent, while South Korea's Kospi was little changed.

Sales in the 2018 USA holiday shopping season rose 5.1 percent to over $850 billion, the strongest in six years, according to a Mastercard report.

Earlier in the day, stocks fell amid renewed tensions between China and the United States. "The concerns are government shutdown, the economy, the President - what time is he going to tweet out about Federal Reserve", said Larry Benedict, founder of the Opportunistic Trader in Boca Raton, Florida.

Even with recent gains, the Dow and S&P 500 are down around 9 per cent for the month.

Stocks slumped for most of the day as the selling that had gripped the market for most of December resumed.

Wednesday's rally comes two days after stocks were routed on a disastrous Christmas Eve that saw the Dow and the Nasdaq suffer their worst-ever losses in December 24 trading.

Ten of the S&P's 11 sectors are in correction coming into Wednesday, although all were higher in early trades. The rally in oil prices, and in stocks for that matter, could be due in part to a bounce from oversold conditions, with market participants wanting to buy the dip. The Nasdaq was up 4 percent and on track to wipe out Monday's losses.

At 10:04 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 35.68 points, or 0.16 percent, at 21,827.88, a day after the Christmas holiday. Facebook and Amazon shares were up more than 6 percent each.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1,086.25 points, or 4.98 percent, to 22,878.45.

Wednesday's rebound, which also helped all three indexes notch their largest daily percentage gains in almost a decade, was fuelled by a strong USA holiday sales report, a jump in oil prices and investors reversing bets against a wide range of stocks after four days of declines. Retailers also were big gainers, after a holiday shopping season marked by robust spending. Goldman Sachs declined 1.9 per cent to $159.82 as the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.76 per cent from 2.79 per cent late Wednesday. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.5 percent. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday that it's required to suspend all operations until Congress approves funding, which means that the government might not release its fourth-quarter report on gross domestic product as scheduled for January 30.

Mr Rodda says Wall Street is registering a solid day of activity on Thursday, with its three major indices up over 2-and-a-half % so far in the session. The Nasdaq is already in bear market, along with the Dow Jones Transport Average.DJT and small-cap Russell 2000 index.

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