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Dec 27, 2018

Before the Bell: Futures point to a decline for US stocks after the Dow's record-breaking Wednesday

Eustance Huang





Futures implied Thursday morning that U.S. stocks were headed for declines when they open on Thursday.
That pullback would do little to dent Wednesday’s post-Christmas surge for American stocks.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied a drop of more than 350 points at the open as of 6:20 a.m. ET Thursday. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to declines for the other two major indexes on Wall Street when they open.
That follows the posting on Wednesday its largest single-day point gain in history, jumping 1,086.25 points, or 4.98 percent, to close at 22,878.45. The day’s gain also marked the biggest upside move on a percentage basis for the Dow since March 23, 2009, when it rose 5.8 percentage points.
The also catapulted 4.96 percent — its best day since March 2009 — to finish the trading day at 2,467.70. The also had its best day since March 23, 2009, soaring 5.84 percent to close at 6,554.36.
That positive momentum appeared to carry over into the Asian trading session on Thursday, with shares mostly seeing gains as Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 3.88 percent on the day.
Wednesday marked the biggest post-Christmas rally for U.S. stocks ever.
“Just when everyone had counted the market down, the market bounded back,” John Carey, a portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer, told CNBC on Thursday. He described the Wednesday bounce on Wall Street as “very positive” and also “quite surprising.”
“I think it has to do with valuations, we got to a point where the market had sold off about 20 percent and price-to-earnings multiples had come down on the S&P from the low 20s to 15-16 times earnings and all of a sudden people looked around and thought stocks might be a good buy,” Carey said.
Furthermore, he added, there were “catalysts” for the market movement, citing reassurances from the White House that the jobs of both Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were safe.
Still, Carey warned there remain “lots of uncertainties which could produce more volatility over the next days and weeks.”
Beyond the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, which has rocked global stock markets for much of 2018, investors remain concerned over Trump’s tirade against the Federal Reserve and Powell over the central bank’s monetary policy. The U.S. government also remains in a partial shutdown as the president stands firm on his calls to obtain funding for his proposed border wall.
Because U.S. exchanges were closed Tuesday for the holiday, the moves on Wall Street followed Monday’s sharp sell-off, which sent the major indexes down more than 2 percent and ended with the S&P 500 falling into a bear market. The S&P 500 was down 20.06 percent from an intraday record high set on Sept. 21 before Wednesday’s sharp rebound.
— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC