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Dow futures point to comeback after back-to-back days of big losses

Dow futures point to comeback after back-to-back days of big losses
Posted at 7:41 AM, Oct 12, 2018

Stock market volatility is back in a big way: The Dow is set for a big rally Friday after a two-day meltdown.

Dow futures pointed to a 350-point jump at the open. The Dow lost 1,378 points over Wednesday and Thursday.

The broader S&P 500 also looked like it would rally, with futures about 0.9% higher. The Nasdaq, which has taken the brunt of the recent stock market turbulence, was set to rise 1.5%.

Why are markets suddenly bouncing back? News late Thursday that President Donald Trump would meet next month with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit eased some of investors' fears about another trade war escalation. On Friday, China reported its exports rose nearly 15% in September, stronger than expected. That suggests China is weathering the first waves of new tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on $50 billion of Chinese exports this summer

Earnings season also kicked off Friday morning, with JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) reporting their quarterly finances before the bell. Wall Street analysts expected banks to post another incredibly profitable quarter — and JPMorgan managed tobeat their already lofty expectations.

In times of market turbulence, there's nothing like soaring profits to calm investors' nerves.

Tech stocks have come under fire because they are some of the riskiest and most expensive parts of the market. Investors fear that tech companies may not hold up well in a downturn, particularly as interest rates spike. A proxy for the tech sector had its sharpest plunge in seven years on Wednesday.

But Big Tech on Friday looked to regain some of their losses. Facebook (FB) rose 1%, Amazon (AMZN) was up 3%, Apple (AAPL) rose 2%, Netflix (NFLX) was up 4% and Google (GOOGL) bounced back 2%.

Asian and European markets also came back Friday. The Hang Seng soared 2.2%. Stocks in Shanghai rose 0.9% and the Nikkei rose 0.5%. Stocks in London, Germany and France all rose about a half percentage point.

Stocks had turned sharply south over the past week because investors are concerned about rising interest rates. As the Federal Reserve raises rates to keep the economy from overheating, investors have been getting out of bonds, driving down their price and driving up their yields. Suddenly, the return on bonds has become competitive with some stocks — particularly risky tech stocks.

Rising interest rates also increase borrowing costs for households and businesses, eating into corporate profits.

The VIX volatility index touched its highest level since February.

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