NEW YORK (AP) — Global stocks soared Friday and reversed the big losses they suffered just a day earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 746 points in the latest twist in a wild three months for markets.
Hopes for progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute, a strong report on the U.S. jobs market and encouraging comments from the head of the U.S. central bank about its interest rate policy all combined to cheer investors.
China’s Commerce Ministry said trade talks will be held Monday and Tuesday in Beijing, and investors will again look for signs the world’s largest economic powers are resolving their dispute. The tensions have dragged on for nearly a year, slowing business and dragging down stock indexes worldwide.
Meanwhile the Labor Department said U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs last month, a far stronger result than experts had anticipated. U.S. stocks have tumbled since October as investors worried that the economy might slow down dramatically because of challenges including the trade dispute and rising interest rates.
The stock market’s plunge also threatened to shake up the confidence and the spending plans of businesses and consumers. Some analysts said investors were acting as if a recession was on the horizon, despite a lack of evidence that the U.S. economy is struggling.
“It’s hard to square recession worries with the strongest job growth we’ve seen in years,” said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research for FTSE Russell.
Stocks rose even further after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will be flexible in deciding if and when it raises interest rates. He added that the Fed is open to making changes in the way it shrinks its giant portfolio of bonds, which affects rates on long-term loans such as mortgages.
Until recently, the Fed had suggested it planned to raise short-term interest rates three times this year and next, and Powell said the Fed’s balance sheet was shrinking “on auto-pilot.” Wall Street feared that the Fed might be moving too fast in raising borrowing costs, said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.
The Fed’s interest-rate and bond portfolio policies “were at the top of the list of things we were concerned about, which is why the statement Powell made today is so supportive of the market,” Orlando said. “The Fed understands that what they attempted to communicate last month was inartful, that they didn’t get the right message across, and Powell tried to reset.”
The S&P 500 index climbed 84.05 points, or 3.4 percent, to 2,531.94, more than wiping out Thursday’s loss. The Dow rose 3.3 percent to 23,433.16 after gaining 832 during the afternoon. The Nasdaq composite jumped 275.35 points, or 4.3 percent, to 6,738.86.
About 90 percent of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange traded higher.
Stocks sank Thursday after Apple said iPhone sales in China are falling, partly because of the trade fight, and a survey suggested U.S. factories grew at a weaker pace. Technology companies took their biggest losses in seven years.
The U.S. and China have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a fight over issues including Beijing’s technology policy. Last month, President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to 90-day ceasefire as a step toward defusing tensions, but that failed to calm the stock market.
Technology companies, banks, health care and industrial companies all made strong gains. Most of the companies in those industries stand to do better in times of faster economic growth.
Smaller and more U.S.-focused companies did even better than larger multinationals. The Russell 2000 index surged 49.92 points, or 3.8 percent, to 1,380.75. Smaller companies have fallen further than larger ones in the last few months as investors got nervous about how the U.S. economy will perform in 2019 and 2020.
Stocks have whipsawed between huge gains and losses for the last few weeks after their big December plunge. Katie Nixon, the chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management, said investors will continue to react to the health of the economy, and to concerns about high levels of corporate debt as interest rates rise.
“We don’t expect that this will be the end to the volatility,” she said. “There’s mounting evidence we’re going to see a slowdown,” albeit not a severe one.
Bond prices also changed course and moved sharply lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.66 percent after it plunged to 2.55 percent Thursday, its lowest in almost a year. That helps banks, as higher interest rates allow them to make bigger profits on mortgages and other loans.
European shares also overcome losses from a day earlier, with Germany’s DAX gaining 3.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 rising 2.7 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 2.2 percent.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 2.2 percent. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 2.3 percent on its first day of trading in 2019 as technology and electronics makers slumped on Apple’s report that Chinese iPhone sales were slipping.
U.S. crude oil added 1.8 percent to $47.96 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 2 percent to $57.06 per barrel in London.
The dollar strengthened. It rose to 108.51 yen from 107.77 yen. The euro rose to $1.14 from $1.1391. The British pound moved up to $1.2740 from $1.2630.
Wholesale gasoline dipped 0.1 percent to $1.35 a gallon and heating oil added 1.6 percent to $1.77 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.4 percent to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In other trading, gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,285.80 an ounce and silver slipped 0.1 percent to $15.79 an ounce. Copper rose 3.1 percent to $2.65 a pound.
Stan Choe contributed to this story from New York. Annabelle Liang contributed from Singapore.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP
What the partial government shutdown reveals about American’s finances
The partial government shutdown has been going on for nearly a month, with no end in sight. About 800000 government workers, according to politicians, are essentially getting paid not to work, but their paychecks won’t come until after the partial shutdown is over. Politicians are using this plight to tug at the general public’s heartstrings in the direction of their agenda. However, every politician and almost every media outlet is ignoring truth, to avoid offending people.
The truth of the matter is: if a person doesn’t have enough money saved up for such a time as this, they suck with finances. If a family is woefully unprepared for an emergency situation, they suck with money. These are objective facts, even Biblical. However, I do not write this to shame those 800000 government workers. After all, the crocodile tears of politicians would be wholly ineffective, if the average American could not see the horror is a month’s wage deferred. American’s finances are in disarray to put it mildly. NBC News reported how majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Though the parameters of what constitutes a livable wage varies greatly according to where you live, these staggering statistics show just how few of us have the means to make ends meet. Depending on where they live, even people who earn $100k per year say they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 59 percent of people making that kind of money admitted to carrying debt. Of those 59 percent, 56 percent say they’re heavily in debt.
And that emergency stash of six month’s pay that experts keep saying we should put away? For more than half of us, it’s just not feasible. According to this survey, 56 percent of us can barely save $100 per month. All things considered, when you break it all down, most of us are just one misfortune away from financial oblivion.
Yet despite the woeful unpreparedness of most Americans to finance an emergency, Americans spend. We have the latest IPhone, subscribe to Amazon Prime, have $200 doorbells on our homes, dine at fast casual restaurants, and drink Starbucks. And despite mandatory financial literacy classes in many schools, we push young people to pursue a six figure education. A recent survey done by YCharts found that nearly two-thirds of millennials aged 22 to 37 believed that they would have seven-figure wealth by the age of 45 or sooner. While seemingly outlandish, this study presented a more optimistic view of the generation’s finances than one might expect. Though with similar spending habits as Gen Xers, it’s overoptimistic to think this generation doesn’t overspend.
We often joke about Congress not balancing the budget like normal people run their finances. Yet in a country and culture of fiscal irresponsibility, it should be unsurprising, though disappointing, that there’s 21 trillion dollars worth of debt.
A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash
When Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) hadn’t been in Washington DC for very long when he said this amazing quote. At the time, many weren’t paying much attention. After all, many Republicans say similar things when they get to DC, but over time they become jaded, corrupted, or start to get used to being in the DC Country Club.
Amash is different. He has remained consistent with his message and views throughout his career. Now, it’s time for other Republicans to remember what they were sent to Washington DC to do in the first place. Defense of the Constitution is their top priority as it’s the best protection against a government that wants desperately to control every aspect of our lives. From healthcare to the internet to how we use our energy, government intervention has become so commonplace, it’s often hard to see the fabric of our nation behind all the layers of bureaucracy that has been placed on top of it.
“I follow a set of principles, I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on. Limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.”
If more Republicans followed the same principles and didn’t just use them in campaign speeches, we may actually be able to return liberties that have been taken and remove layers of government that have been formed unnecessarily.
Larry Elder, Sean Hannity discuss the shutdown
Radio host Larry Elder joined Sean Hannity on Fox News tonight to break down the government shutdown. Elder pointed out that President Obama was being urged by advisers, including Rahm Emmanuel, to abandon Obamacare, but Nancy Pelosi urged him to go big or go home.
Later, they discussed the Speaker of the House’s refusal to meet with Angel Moms. Elder asked what she would say to them. Hannity said she should have given them condolences for their losses.
The talking heads on Fox News keep repeating the same narratives, but it’s not working. This is an example of mainstream media playing to the base by repeating the narrative for cheers from the crowd but failing to present better information the Republican base can use to argue for the border wall.
Many on the right, particularly in media, are failing to make a compelling case for the wall. They need to adjust their talking points if they really want their audience to help sell the idea to the rest of America.
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