Dow soars in seesaw session after Christmas Eve plunge; tech, retail lead gains

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged on Wednesday in a seesaw session, as U.S. markets erased losses suffered in the most recent trading session on Christmas Eve.

The Dow rose more than 1,080 points, or nearly five percent, marking the first time in history the exchange rose more than 1,000 points in a single day of trading. The S&P 500 climbed more than 100 points, or about five percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose more than 360 points, or nearly six percent.

All three major exchanges posted their largest single-day point increase on record. Gains in the tech and retail sectors drove the rally, helping the market recoup losses witnessed on Monday. The energy sector also rose, with U.S. crude oil prices soaring more than nine percent after weeks of declines.

Stocks had taken a beating recently on lingering worries about the economy and caution over persisting political uncertainties, as a partial federal government shutdown lingers and President Trump's continues his hostile stance toward the Federal Reserve.

U.S. stocks posted their worst Christmas Eve session ever on Monday, as a perfect storm of concerns drove investors to bail out of a market that was already badly bruised. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average had its steepest drop on Christmas Eve in its 122-year history. It also was the worst Christmas Eve for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the first time the broader S&P 500 ever had more than a 1 percent drop on Dec. 24.

Meanwhile, U.S. home price growth slowed in the month of October, according to data released Wednesday. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5 percent from the prior year, down from an annual gain of 5.2 percent in September. That's down from a 5.5 percent yearly gain in the previous month.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 38239.98 +253.58 +0.67%
SP500 S&P 500 5010.6 +43.37 +0.87%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15451.305261 +169.30 +1.11%

Congress missed a midnight Friday deadline for getting a spending bill passed, resulting in a partial government shutdown. No votes are scheduled to end the stalemate until after Christmas.

Monday's hammering followed a stomach-churning week, when the Dow lost 6.9 percent and the S&P 500 tumbled 7.1 percent. The Nasdaq gave up 8.4 percent, making it the first of the three major averages to fall into bear market territory.

Concerns about the ability of the markets to handle the sell-off promoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late Sunday to contact the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks and convene a meeting of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. That group, which includes officials in the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, met to ensure the financial system had adequate liquidity to handle all the selling.

FOX Business' Thomas Barrabi, Matthew Kazin and The Associated Press contributed to this story.