The stock market is a yo-yo, subject to alternating between lows and highs in spurts — and often on a daily basis.
But statistically, a post-Christmas miracle occurred on Wednesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a record-setting high of over 1,050 points, powered a soaring uptick of 1,086 points (4.98%) to its biggest point gain in history.
The high-altitude posting ended a four-day losing streak.
And, as many would proclaim as they brag about their clairvoyant ability to predict the market, on Dec. 27, the Dow at first, dived off the high board.
After a 611-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the market did a swift, last minute turnaround that rescued stocks from the steep plunge and put the market on track to end a topsy-turvy, volatile week with a gain.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq eked out modest gains after having been down 2.8% and 3.3%, respectively.
Thursday’s sharp swings may signal what could be its steepest annual loss since the financial crisis, some experts say.
The market’s sharp downturn that began in October has intensified this month, erasing all of its 2018 gains and nudging the S&P 500 closer to its worst year since 2008. Even with the two-day winning streak, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all down more than 9% for the month and stocks are on track for their worst December since 1931.
“There are reasons we should be volatile, including a lot of unknowns as we head into 2019, starting with tariffs,” J.J.. Kinahan, chief markets strategist for TD Ameritrade said, noting that below-average trading volume this time of year is also contributing to the market’s volatility during the Christmas week.
Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260.37 points, or 1.1% to end at 23,138.82, after dropping as much as 611 points at its session low.
On a percentage basis, the Dow’s move from a 2.67% decline at its session low to a positive finish marked its biggest such intraday swing since Oct. 4, 2011, when it recovered from a fall of 2.75% at its low, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
The Thursday turnabout was the largest such swing for the S&P 500 since May 25, 2010, and the largest for the Nasdaq since Nov. 18, 2008.
On Wednesday, the Dow ended with a gain of 1,086.25 points, or 5% at 22,878.45.
The S&P 500 soared 5% to end at 2,467.70 and the Nasdaq rose 5.8% to 6,554.36.
On the more relevant percentage basis, all three major indexes logged the strongest one-day gains since March 23, 2009. And it was the best-ever day-after-Christmas performance for the three equity gauges.