The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose almost 300 points, erased its gains within the same hour and proceeded to surge over 1,000 points to close Wednesday’s session, effectively logging its biggest single-day point gain ever. Is this the early beginning of more gains to come in a late Santa Claus rally?
It was a welcome sign for equities investors who saw a Christmas Eve Dow drop of 653 points, while the S&P 500 entered bear market territory. The markets were hoping that the Santa Claus rally or more specifically, the January Effect—investors dumping stocks in order to accumulate tax losses to offset capital gains—would make an appearance.
“Investors are learning the hard way that reliable historic guideposts have no place in a post quantitative easing world. Everything from the pulled-forward January Effect to the Santa Claus rally to share buybacks building into the early January closing of the buyback window to presidential cycles — all of them have been summoned; none of them have appeared,” said Danielle DiMartino Booth, CEO and Director of Intelligence at Quill Intelligence.
That may soon change given Wednesday’s rally. The S&P climbed almost 4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite gained almost 300 points.
Ahead of Christmas, the prospect of a Santa Claus rally appeared bleak, but to investors, coming a day after Christmas is certainly a case of “better late than never.” However, according to history, this late rally towards the end of the year and possibly into early January is par for course.