Dow Jones surges 1,100 points, Wall Street rebounds from worst-ever Christmas

Dow Jones surges 1,100 points, Wall Street rebounds from worst-ever Christmas

Dow Jones surges 1,100 points, Wall Street rebounds from worst-ever Christmas

Donald Trump expressed confidence in the Treasury secretary, Federal Reserve and USA economy on Tuesday, moving to calm financial markets further roiled after Bloomberg News reported that the president had discussed firing the central bank's chairman over raising interest rates.

Trump defended Mnuchin, telling reporters on Tuesday that the Treasury chief is a "very talented, very smart person". The S&P 500 came within 2 points of falling 20 percent from its late-September closing high, a threshold commonly used to define a bear market. NY time, the first advance for futures in two weeks and the largest climb in more than three weeks. The S&P 500 retailing index .SPXRT jumped 7.4 percent, while shares of online retailer Amazon AMZN.O , which touted a "record-breaking" season, climbed 9.4 percent.

In the wake of the Fed's actions, United States media have reported that Trump has explored whether to fire Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's job was not in jeopardy, helping ease nerves after President Donald Trump's repeated criticism of the Fed over the past few days.

The markets closed Christmas Eve down sharply, with the Dow dropping 653 points and the S&P 500 nearing a bear market.

According to CNBC, "retailers were among the best performers on Wednesday..."

Energy stocks rose 3.28% as crude oil prices rebounded, while the communication services and healthcare indexes also rose more than 2%. Part of Trump's frustration with Powell has been the Fed chair's announcement last week of another hike in the benchmark interest rate, which caused markets to tumble.

Media reports have suggested Trump has gone as far as discussing firing Powell, and he told Reuters in August that he was "not thrilled" with the chairman.

Still overhanging the market was the partial government shutdown as well as a trade war with China, which helped ignite the December market rout.

Gold extended its rally to its loftiest level in six months as equity turmoil, the partial shutdown of the U.S. government and worries over the economic outlook into 2019 boosted prices of the metal.

The US markets reopened after the Christmas day holiday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a round of calls to the heads of the nation's six largest banks Sunday and said they assured him they have ample money to finance their normal operations.

On Monday, Trump said "The only problem our economy has is the Fed". "This is a disaster for the Fed, a disaster for the president and a disaster for the economy".

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office after a Christmas video conference with US troops deployed overseas, Trump also said USA companies were "the greatest in the world" and presented a "tremendous" buying opportunity. "We have companies, the greatest in the world, and they're doing really well", he tweeted. Trump has repeatedly and publicly lambasted Powell over the central bank's raising of interest rates.

"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it", he said.

The central bank has argued that higher interest rates are needed to prevent the economy from overheating. "This is a disaster for the Fed, a disaster for the president and a disaster for the economy".

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