After spending much of Thursday down, stocks staged a late-day comeback to finish higher. The gains extend the historic rally from the day before when the Dow Jones industrial average surged over 1,000 points.
Investors appeared to shrug off a disappointing consumer confidence report on Thursday that showed sentiment declining sharply in December and missing expectations.
“What you’re seeing today is the type of volatility that we’ve seen as we approach the end of a quarter,” said David Campbell, a principal of BOS, a wealth management fund in San Francisco.
The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 260 points, or 1.14 percent, to end at 23,139. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 21 points, or 0.86 percent, to close out at 2,489.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 25 points, or 0.38 percent, to finish at 6,579. The Russell 2000 – an index of small-company stocks – closed 2 points higher, or up 0.16 percent, at 1,332.
It’s been a back-and-forth week for stocks. The market spent much of Thursday down following reports indicating softness in the economy.
The Fed manufacturing reports from New York and Virginia showed some weakness. And the Conference Board said Thursday its widely watched index of consumer confidence dropped to a reading of 128.1 in December from 135.7 in November. That marked the least optimistic level since July.
“There are still enough concerns out there,” said Ron Weiner, managing partner and director of RDM Finacial Group at HighTower.
But on Wednesday, investors were euphoric, as all four of the indexes jumped nearly 5 percent or more, boosted by a surge in energy stocks and by reports of strong retail sales during the holidays.
Earlier worries that President Trump could remove the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, also eased after a White House adviser said the chairman was “100 percent” safe.
That stock surge came after a Christmas Eve day rout when investors worried about cluster of political problems, from Powell to the partial government shutdown and the Treasury secretary’s bungled attempts to reassure markets.
“There’s just a lot of trading on momentum or on emotion than the fundamentals right now,” said Campbell.
Strong holiday sales and oil prices helped boost the stock market following a rout two days earlier.
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