Stocks finished higher, with the Dow ( closing 371 points, or 1.4%, higher. The )S&P 500 ( and the )Nasdaq Composite ( logged their third day of gains in a row, closing up 1.9% and 2.2%, respectively. )
Both the S&P and the Nasdaq have now erased their steep losses from Monday, when stocks across the board had the worst day of the year. The Dow is still down on the week.
The three indexes had a volatile day on Wednesday, selling off for much of the day as investors fled to safer bets like gold and Treasury bonds, which rallied in response.
Gold remains near a six-year high above the key threshold of $1,500 an ounce, and the 10-year Treasury yield is close to the three-year low it hit Wednesday. Nonetheless, the assets have come off of their highs and are pulling back some on Thursday.
There were some bright spots in economic data on Thursday, with Chinese trade data revealing that July exports had been stronger than expected, and US jobless claims for the week ended August 3 lower than expected at 209,000.
Still, investors are in a tough spot at the moment. On the one hand, the trade war between the United States and China is threatening the global economy, which bodes well for safe haven bets. But on the other hand, central banks are cutting interest rates all over, which is favorable for stocks.
Even though the Federal Reserve delivered a rate cut that wasn’t quite as dovish as the market would have liked in July, signs are pointing towards easier monetary policy conditions to come around the world. Expectations for a quarter percentage point rate cut in September are around 81%, according to the CME FedWatch tool, down from 86% earlier.
President Donald Trump once again attacked the Fed’s policy on Twitter Thursday.
“The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is keeping the dollar high, making it more difficult for our great manufacturers like Caterpillar, Boeing, John Deere, our car companies & others, to compete on a level playing field,” he wrote.
He said that he wasn’t thrilled with the strong US dollar. The ICE US Dollar Index in response briefly slipped. Around midday, the dollar gauge was little changed.