US stocks see historic rally, but still down for the month

US stocks saw a substantial rally on Wednesday with the DJIA closing up 5%, or 1086 points. It marked a considerable reversal after the hammering US stocks were taking in the run up to Christmas.

US stocks saw a substantial rally on Wednesday with the DJIA closing up 5%, or 1086 points. It marked a considerable reversal after the hammering US stocks were taking in the run up to Christmas.

Major US indices jump

All three major US stock indexes posted their single largest one day gain since March 2009, but much of this will be driven by a lack of volume in the market. The rally came on the heels of a heavy sell off on Christmas Eve in the US, in a shortened US trading day. Looking at the rest of the week, however, DJIA and S&P futures markets looked to be losing ground again, with expectations from traders that we will see some of those gains erased on Wall Street today.

UK sees business confidence ebbing, but FTSE opens up

In the UK the Institute of Directors came out with its latest sentiment numbers for UK businesses, indicating that confidence was sitting at an 18 month low. Early numbers for Boxing Day sales indicated that the retail sector in particular is facing a decline in footfall on a year on year basis as confidence also drains out of the consumer market. This points towards some severe numbers for retailers in Q1 and there will also be focus on the travel sector, particularly stocks with heavy overseas exposure (most of the travel firms and airlines in the FTSE 350).

The FTSE 100 was up marginally (0.11%) in early trading on Thursday while the pound seemed to shrugging off the news, up slightly against the USD but down marginally vs the EUR and JPY.

Oil contracts see ongoing downward trend

Oil gave up some ground in the overnight trading session, with both Brent and WTI down. This followed on the heels of a positive day yesterday, but both benchmark oil contracts are off by around 40% from the highs they hit back in October, largely because traders see more of a glut emerging in the market.

Asian markets put in a mixed performance despite the US rally with Japan’s Topix up 4.9% but mainland China and Hong Kong markets down. This reflects ongoing concerns about some of the macro numbers coming out of China.

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