Wall Street roars back to life in best session in 9 years

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

- US stocks surged Wednesday, recovering all their losses from a Christmas Eve plunge and placing the market on track for its best day in nine months.

Despite Wednesday's gain, the market remained on track for its worst December since 1931, after several days of losses capped off by the worst Christmas Eve day of trading on Monday. The benchmark S&P 500 gained 5 percent or 116 points to 2,467.

On Thursday, the Dow erased a 600 point loss and finished with a gain of 260 points. The Nasdaq Composite also recorded its best performance since March 2009, climbing about 5.8 percent.

The stagnation in the progress of resolving the trade war between the USA and China supported by the Federal Reserve's increasing interest rate have continued to take a toll on the global economy and major stock markets in leading regions such as Japan, South Korea, and China.

All three major USA indexes gained at least 4 percent on Wednesday.

Stocks had taken a beating recently on lingering worries about the economy and caution over persisting political uncertainties, as a partial federal government shutdown lingers and President Trump's continues his hostile stance toward the Federal Reserve.

Wednesday's gains pulled the S&P 500 back from the brink of what Wall Street calls a bear market - a 20 percent tumble from an index's peak. That's what Wall Street calls a bear market, and it would have marked the end to the longest bull market for stocks in modern history after almost 10 years.

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. South Korea's Kospi gave up 1.3 percent, and the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.3 percent.

Consumer discretionary, energy and technology stocks led the rally, with big names like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Home Depot, Microsoft, Nike and Visa leading the uphill charge.

Meanwhile, the energy sector was only slightly behind the consumer discretionary sector, also posting a gain of more than 6% as oil prices climbed sharply. (NASDAQ: AMZN) in percentage terms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the closings at brick-and-mortar stores and competition from internet sales, holiday spending at department stores fell 1.3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index both came a hair shy of topping 5 percent.

"From a tactical standpoint, you can expect a reflex rally", said Canaccord Genuity equity strategist Tony Dwyer in a note released ahead of Wednesday's session.

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.

Retail stocks, particularly Amazon, provided the biggest boost to the market.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is up to 2.76 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.4 percent to 19,986.32.

European markets were also mixed, with Frankfurt's DAX showing a small gain, while the FTSE 100 (London) and the CAC 40 (Paris) moved lower.

All three major indexes were on pace to snap a four-day losing streak.

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