US equity index futures edged higher with Asian stocks on Thursday as investors looked ahead to promised January milestone for trade relations between the world’s biggest economies and also hoped for revival of global growth in 2020. The dollar also drifted lower on Christmas Eve.
European markets still shuttered, contracts on the three main American stock indexes ticked higher as the resumed trading after Wednesdays Christmas break. Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul share advanced.
For some investors, on Wall Street at this time last year it was a Nightmare before Christmas, as an escalating U.S. and China trade war and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes cast a pall over the holiday.
S&P 500 index had plunged nearly 20% on Christmas Eve in last year and was on the verge of a bear market. And since slipping that low point on Christmas evening in last year, as in Tim Burton’s movie, “Santa has replaced the Pumpkin King’s nightmarish 2018 gifts with a spectacular recovery”.
But 2019 year’s rally has seen the S&P 500 index recover and return 37% when the market closed for Christmas Eve on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 31% and the Nasdaq Composite Index has surged more than 45% over the same period, according to FactSet data.
“So, a year later, what was the bigger surprise? The 2018 fourth quarter massacre or the monstrous rally from those lows?” asked Frank Cappelleri, executive director at brokerage Instinet.
Although at least one expert believes the market is currently in a “silly season”, others believe that equity indexes could continue to climb higher into next year, despite lackluster corporate earnings.