Markets Right Now: US stocks open lower as sellers return

US stocks attempt rebound

US stocks attempt rebound

The shaky trading followed a 5% plunge on Christmas Day that dragged the Japanese index into a bear market. "Oil prices have just moved quite markedly". Government data showed profit for companies in steel, construction materials, oil, chemicals and equipment manufacturing declined 1.8 per cent from a year earlier, a reverse from October's 3.6 per cent gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 249.39 points, or 1.09 per cent, at the open to 22,629.06.

To say that USA stocks trading has been odd this week seems like an understatement.

Some of the world's biggest markets are yet to react to Wall Street's Christmas Eve sell-off. Texas Instruments dropped 1.3 per cent to $91.74.

Even so, traders have been jittery this autumn over signs that the global economy is slowing, the escalating USA trade dispute with China and another interest rate increase by the Fed. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 97.16 points, or 1.48 per cent, to 6,457.19 at the opening bell. 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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index both came a hair shy of topping 5 percent.

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USA stocks are staging a furious late-afternoon rally Thursday, closing with gains after erasing a 600-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many economic barometers still look encouraging.

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

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.79 percent from 2.75 percent late Monday.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.58 yen from Thursday's 111.01 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1405 from $1.1351. The German DAX slid 2.4 percent, while the Nikkei 225 index rebounded 3.9 percent. Copper gained 1.5 percent to $2.70 a pound.

The partial US government shutdown that started Saturday is unlikely to hurt the economy much, although it may deprive the financial markets of data about worldwide trade and gross domestic product. The Dow has dropped 1 percent or more in eight of the 17 trading sessions. Shares fell in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, but rose in Thailand. It tumbled more than 5 percent on Tuesday before recovering slightly a day later. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.4 per cent to 25,582.53 and Seoul's Kospi added 0.8 per cent to 2,044.18. In China, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.3% on Wednesday. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 rallied 1.5 percent to 5,575.60.

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