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Big Move Up Today

Another big move today in the U.S. stock market except this time the big move was to the upside, more than eradicating yesterday’s big decline.  In fact, looking back historically, yesterday’s drop was the second biggest drop in history for the second day of the New Year. The biggest drop on the second day of a new year was in the year 2000. That was the year when the NASDAQ bubble originally popped. That big drop happened at a time where the market was peaking and we were just beginning a bear market where the U.S. stock market went down by about half and the NASDAQ went down by abut 80%.  So not a good comparison.

NASDAQ Biggest Mover Up 4.25%

On the other hand, today’s rise was the second biggest rise for the S&P on the third day of a new year in U.S. stock market history. The biggest rise happened in 1932, and that was during the great depression.  Clearly not a good period for the U.S. stock market or the U.S. economy to have to go back to 1932 to see a third trading day in January where you have this big a gain.  In fact, the Dow was up 3.3% on the day but the S&P up 3.4%.  The biggest mover was the NASDAQ, which was up 4.25%. So much bigger than the drop that we had yesterday.  The Russell 2000 was up 3.75%.

What was the Catalyst?

So what was the catalyst?  Why did the U.S. stock market go up so much today after being down so much yesterday? First of all, the market started off on a positive note.  I’m pretty sure we were up 2-300 points right out of the gate in the futures, even before we got the Nonfarm Payroll number that came out at 8:30 a.m.  Futures were already trading, and there was already a big gain before that number was released. So it wasn’t the jobs report that actually was responsible for today’s move.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Dovish Statements

It had much more to do with the comments made by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.  Those comments were made maybe an hour or so after the stock market opened.  But let’s start off early this morning.  What was propping up the market in the morning, or overnight, was more optimism that a trade deal between the U.S. and China is imminent. Now, of course, whatever trade deal is negotiated is going to do nothing.