Stocks finished firmly higher Wednesday. The Dow soared 1,086 points to 22,878, posting its largest daily point gain on record. The S&P 500 rallied 116 points to 2,467, while the Nasdaq Composite surged 361 points to 6,554.
The major averages snapped a four-session losing streak which left the Dow and S&P 500 within 1% of bear market territory. Investor sentiment was seemingly lifted after comments from a White House economic advisor assured that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s job is “100% safe” and President Trump calling the recent market rout a “tremendous opportunity to buy”. On the data front, a report from S&P/Case-Shiller showed gains in U.S. home prices decelerate for a seventh consecutive month in October. Separately, the December manufacturing activity gauge for the Richmond Fed district fell to the lowest level since June 2016.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory with eight groups surging more than 4.5%. Consumer Discretionary shares led the advance with Amazon soaring 9.5% to $1470.90 after reporting a record-breaking number of items were sold during the holiday season. Target jumped 5.8% to $65.11 after a MasterCard report showed 2018 was the strongest holiday shopping season in six years. Energy stocks also outperformed as WTI crude surged 8.7% to $46.22/barrel.
Breadth was positive on issues by 16:1 on the NYSE and by 4:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 4.0 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened along the curve with the yield on the 10-year note up seven basis points to 2.81%. In commodities, COMEX gold added 0.1% to $1,269.20/ounce.