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5 Reasons Why the Dow Jones Rallied More Than 200 Points Today

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:19 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:19 PM
  • The Dow enjoyed a partial recovery on Wednesday after plunging 661 points during a three-day losing streak.
  • The DJIA is up around 200 points today.
  • Here are five reasons the stock market bounced back today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is well on its way to snapping a three-day losing streak that battered the index by nearly 700 points.

dow jones industrial average chart
The Dow rebounded by more than 200 points today. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

The US-China trade war continues to dominate shifting Wall Street forecasts, but it’s not the only factor behind today’s stock market rally. Here are five reasons why stocks bounced back today.

1. This stock market rally is mostly about the trade war.

Okay, the trade war isn’t the only factor behind today’s rally, but it’s clearly the biggest driver of the Dow’s midweek bounce.

One day after suggesting that trade talks could last another 12 months, US President Donald Trump assured investors that negotiations are “going very well.” 

That, coupled with a Bloomberg report that a near-term trade deal is still on the table, softened the blow from yesterday’s stunning Trump outburst.

2. Dow bulls hold out hope that Trump won’t be a Grinch this Christmas.

Meanwhile, some Dow Jones bulls continue to hold out hope that Trump will scrap – or at least delay – new tariffs on Chinese goods before they take effect on Dec. 15.

trump grinch dow stock market
Source: Twitter 

Bleakley Advisory Group Chief Investment Officer Peter Boockvar told CNBC that he doesn’t believe Trump will follow through on those tariff hikes , which target $160 billion worth of imports and could pummel electronics producers like Apple.

“I do not believe that they will follow through with the December tariffs, Boockvar said. “If we do not have a [China trade] deal, I think they’ll couch it and we’re just postponing the tariffs.”

3. Poor employment numbers were already partially baked in.

Dreary economic data contributed to the Dow’s three-day downturn, but today’s stock market recovery ignored a handful of poor data releases.

Chief among them was the ADP employment report , which showed that the US private sector had added just 67,000 jobs in November. That was the worst monthly job growth statistic since May, and bears were quick to point out that it was also the second-worst figure in a decade.

peter schiff, adp employment
Source: Twitter 

Some of that employment weakness may have already been baked in. With the manufacturing sector in a recession, that industry’s 18,000 job cuts weren’t all that surprising. Unemployment also ranges at 50-year lows, making sluggish job creation an inevitable reality.

Moreover, stock market optimists might be crossing their fingers that Friday’s Labor Department employment report will paint a brighter picture than ADP’s and suggest that the latter could have been an outlier.

4. That other economic data miss wasn’t that terrible.

ISM’s manufacturing report showed a worse-than-expected contraction, and Wednesday’s services report missed economist estimates too.

Non-Manufacturing PMI printed a 53.9 for November , a notable decline from 54.7 in October. Economists had expected services activity to come in a bit stronger at 54.5.

non-manufacturing pmi chart
Services PMI slowed more than expected in November, but it still expanded. | Source: Trading Economics 

Nevertheless, readings above 50 indicate expansion, so the backbone of the country’s economic engine remains relatively healthy.

5. Oil spiked, lifting Dow Jones energy stocks.

Finally, the Dow received a boost from a surge in the price of oil .

US crude inventories plunged by 4.9 million barrels, far above the 1.4 million barrel estimate. That, coupled with potential OPEC production cuts , sent oil as much as 4% higher on Wednesday.

DJIA members Chevron and Exxon Mobil each enjoyed a solid bounce from the news.