US stocks close up after deep dive into negative territory

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher Monday after an afternoon turnaround that followed a deep dive into negative territory.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 500 points after British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the Parliamentary vote on Brexit was being delayed, admitting that it would fail if the vote were held on schedule. If a deal on Britain's goal of leaving the European Union isn't reached with Brussels by March the U.K. could simply leave the pact, which could be massively disruptive for business.

At one point the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Index was on track to close in correction territory -- 24,145.55 -- 10 percent below its recent high of 26,828.39, which it reached on Oct. 3.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 37775.38 +22.07 +0.06%
SP500 S&P 500 5011.12 -11.09 -0.22%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15601.498878 -81.87 -0.52%

Adding to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the European Court of Justice on Monday ruled that the U.K. can revoke Article 50 and halt Brexit without the permission of other member states.

U.S.-China trade tensions also weighed on investor sentiment. The U.S. will hold fast to its 90-day deadline for the conclusion of a lasting trade agreement with China and would impose punishing tariffs on Chinese imports if none is reached. That is according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on CBS on Sunday. At the end of the 90-day period, which began Dec. 1, tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods would rise to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

Apple shares initially fell on news that a Chinese court ordered Apple to stop selling older iPhone models in the country after finding it had infringed on two patents held by Qualcomm.

But in afternoon trading, the market started a major clawback, led by big tech and big consumer equities.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
NFLX NETFLIX INC. 611.15 -2.54 -0.41%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 155.97 +0.50 +0.32%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 404.33 -7.51 -1.82%

European markets ended mixed.

China shares ended lower on Monday as disappointing trade and inflation data for November added to concerns over slowing growth.  The Shanghai Composite was down 0.8 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei tumbled to a 6-week low, ending the day down 2.1 percent.

Equity investors have bene rocked by days of volatility are saying good riddance to the week on Friday in what was another stomach-churning session. The month of December is now off to its worst start since 2008, as tracked by our partners at Dow Jones Market Data Group.

The Dow finished the final day of the week down 558 points or over 2 percent, curbing losses that were well over 600 points intraday. The S&P 500 sank 2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 3 percent as large cap tech names including Apple and IBM weighed on the Dow.

For the week, all three of the broader U.S. averages lost 4 percent amid significant point declines.

On the economic front, the November jobs report was softer than expected. The Labor Department said American employers created 155,000 jobs last month, less than the 200,000 Wall Street analysts expected. The November jobs report also found that the unemployment rate is still 3.7 -- its lowest level in nearly half a century -- and that wages edged slightly higher last month.