Stocks Slump and Other Highlights of 2018 Financial Markets

Live Trading on the floor of the NYSE

2018 has seen the stock market post one of its worst performance in recent history. It has been an especially turbulent 4th quarter, thanks in part to a slew of political and economic debacles.The worsening trade war between the US and China, the recent US government shutdown and the looming head of Brexit next year rocking both the American and European markets are the notable flashpoints.

The holidays gave no solace as the world markets collectively plummeted as Christmas Day approached. But a late Christmas miracle sent markets into an upward recovery mode, but whether it is the start of an upward trend or just a temporary reprieve remains to be seen.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow recorded a record low Thursday, December 27, 2018 for the entire year, a culmination of days of straight losses for the index. But shortly after Christmas day, the downward spiral reversed, seeing it achieve on of its biggest point gains in its history.

The Dow improved by an impressive 1,086 points, or a 4.98% gain by closing on December 26. It is also the best December 26, surpassing the previous high of 3.06% back in 1973.

This came after a pretty challenging Wednesday morning for the market. But a statement by White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett ensuring the job safety of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has buoyed the market, and seen it surge all throughout the end of the Christmas week.

The morning of December 27 saw a downward slump of almost 500 points, but made an impressive run to finish even higher than the previous with a 200 point gain to close at 0.98%.

December 28 saw the Dow receive a slight loss at -0.3%, but overall it has been a relatively stable end to a very volatile trading week.

Despite record gains, all of that will be eaten up by one of the most terrible years for the market, as the Dow is still slated to finish at a steep loss as the end of the year approaches, with its year to date performance down at -5.98%.

NYSE

The stocks in the NYSE made a similar uphill climb after a disastrous early Christmas week. Coming from a slump prior to the start of the Christmas Day holiday, the morning of December 26 threatened to go even lower. But by midday it rallied back up, registering an impressive 4.03% gain at +434 by Wednesday afternoon closing.

The December 27 performance was even better, generally continuing a rise up amidst dips throughout the day to finish fantastically at +81.22, a 0.72% gain from the previous.

The final trading day of the year, December 28, saw the NYSE register a minor rise of 0.05%, ending the week on a calm note.

Like the Dow, the NYSE will end the year in the red, one of its steepest in decades. As of this writing, the NYSE is at a -11.45% loss from the beginning of the year.

FTSE 100

With the general upward frenzy of Wall Street, the UK stock market is unfortunately going in the reverse direction. London’s blue chip stocks, in fact, saw itself in its lowest levels on Thursday, December 27, when the FTSE 100 lost almost 150 points to close at -2.2%. Not since July 2016 had it lost this much.

But just as the ball seemed to be dropping indefinitely, “Footsie” rallied a Friday comeback where it saw prices rise by 149 points, an improvement of by 2.3%. It adds a much needed £38 billion to its total value. It marks the single best recovery day since April of this year.

Big gainers included oil companies and exporters, such as British American Tobacco and Royal Dutch Shell.

Last Words

The New Year is here and expectations of investors are high that there will be cause to cheer as the months roll by.

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