Stocks climb back after big losses

Markets were closed yesterday to honor former President George H.W. Bush. And today, stocks started the day right where they left off on Tuesday...lower!

After the lower start, stocks continued to drop in the first 30 minutes of trading. Markets were sideways for the rest of the morning, then the major indices sold off again right before lunch.

But at 11:30am ET, stocks turned on a dime.

The reversal came after Dallas Fed President Kaplan said that rates are approaching the neutral rate and Atlanta Fed President Bostic said that rates are close to neutral. There was also a Wall Street Journal report making the case for a more cautious Fed, following a December rate hike.

From that point on, the major indices rallied, trying to make up for the early losses.

The S&P was down almost 3.0% but managed to erase most of the losses for the day. And the NASDAQ was down 2.4% before rallying to end the day with a 0.4% gain.

Here's where the major indices ended the day:

  • The S&P finished with a 0.2% loss. Down 4 points, the S&P ended at 2,696.
  • The DOW ended lower by 0.3%. Dropping 79 points, the DOW closed at 24,948.
  • The NASDAQ was up 0.4%. With a 30 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 7,188.
  • Bitcoin finished lower by 3.3%. Down $120, Bitcoin ended at $3,565.

Crude Oil (CL) found support around the $50 mark, after an early drop. With a 2.6% loss, CL finished at $51.54 a barrel.

Trade concerns were the driver behind today's swings (again). But this time concerns didn't stem from a tweet.

Chinese CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada for violating U.S. trade sanctions on Iran. She's the CFO of one of the largest smartphone companies in the world and she could be extradited to the U.S. But the Chinese embassy in Canada is calling the arrest a human rights violation.

Although the arrest occurred on Saturday it was first reported Wednesday. But after the news, analysts at Deutsche Bank are saying the probability of a U.S.-China trade agreement occurring before March 1st is now 30%, down from 40%.

And here's an interesting number for the day...the U.S. trade deficit was $55.5 billion in October. This is the highest it has been in 10 years and about 11.4% higher than it was last year...in spite of tariffs.

Hewlett Packard (HPE) was up nicely today, rallying 6.5% after better than expected earnings.

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