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Stock Market News For Dec 31, 2018

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Markets closed mostly lower on Friday in a week that saw wild swings between gains and losses. However, all major indexes posted their weekly gains for the first time in a month that has been plagued by volatility. Friday’s decline follows a stunning reversal on Thursday when major indexes bounced back to end in positive territory from their session lows. On Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 closed slightly lower, while the Nasdaq ended marginally higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.3% to close at 23,062.40. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% to close at 2,485.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 6,584.52, increasing 0.1%. A total of about 8 billion shares were traded on Friday, lower than the last 20-session average of 9.2 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.97-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.23-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

How did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow gave up 76.42 points, as markets ended a volatile week. The index rose as much as 243.06 points and fell as much as 155.26 points during the trading session. Shares of Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT - Free Report) declined 0.8%. Caterpillar has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 ended marginally lower, losing 3.09 points. At one point the index rose as much as 1.26% before giving up all its gains. The selloff was led by energy and, materials. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) declined 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) lost 0.2%. Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended in negative territory.

The Nasdaq, whoever, closed slightly higher, gaining 5.03 points. However, it closed well of its ession high. Shares of Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) gained 0.2%.

Volatility Continues to Trouble Markets

Markets ended mostly lower on Friday bringing an end to a week that saw indexes making wild swings between gains and losses. On Friday, major indexes pulled back from session highs that saw the S&P 500 and the Dow closing slightly lower. Friday’s moves follow a stunning reversal on Thursday that saw the Dow rebounding 800 points from its session low to end 260 points higher. This marked the index’s biggest intraday swing in eight years.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also made major comebacks on Thursday to end in positive territory after declining more than 2% and 3%, respectively. Investors have been fretting over fears of monetary policy mistake by the Fed and the ongoing government shutdown in Washington, which has resulted in markets making wild swings.

Weekly Roundup

It was a volatile week for markets, with stocks nose-diving on Monday to record their sharpest losses in history on the eve of Christmas in a holiday-shortened session. However, all three major indexes made a stunning comeback on Wednesday to mark the best ever post-Christmas rally in stock-market history. The Dow added 1,086.25 points, recording its biggest single-day gain in history, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 116.60 points and 361.44 points, respectively, recording their best day since Mar 23 2009. On Thursday, stocks initially failed to hold on to the gains made in the previous session. However, indexes ended sharply higher after erasing huge losses.

For the week, all the major indexes rose at least 2.7%. However, stocks are still on track to witnesses the worst December since 1931. The S&P 500 has lost 9.9% and the Dow is down 9.7%, while the Nasdaq entered bear market this month.

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