Stocks continue recovery track despite early volatility.
U.S. stocks overcame a volatile start to finish higher on Thursday, as investors continued to cheer positive trade talks between Washington and Beijing despite the continuation of a partial government shutdown.
All of Wall Street’s major indices held on to gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) rose 119.88 points, or 0.5%, to 23,999.00. The index was down more than 170 points through the morning session.
The much broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) added 0.5% to 2,596.47, with industrials and utilities leading the way higher.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) rose 0.4% to finish at 6,986.07.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) reached a session high of 21.32 during morning trade. It would eventually reverse course to settle down 3% at 19.38. The so-called “fear index” maintains a historic average near 20.
The partial U.S. government shutdown is approaching its third week, with federal employee wages hanging in the balance. Roughly 800,000 federal workers will miss their first paycheck on Friday. There’s virtually nothing to report in terms of negotiations, with President Trump and congressional Democrats deadlocked over proposed border wall funding.
The Final Word: Stocks are in the midst of a strong relief rally, though it’s not entirely clear whether this pace can be maintained for the rest of the month. Lukewarm corporate earnings and explosive trade negotiations between the U.S. and China could potentially derail the market’s recovery in the coming weeks. The outcome of the government shutdown also hangs in the balance.