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Dow plunges 600 points before closing in positive territory

CNN's Alison Kosik reports.

Posted: Dec 29, 2018 10:30 AM
Updated: Dec 29, 2018 11:01 AM

If stocks finish higher Friday, the market will have accomplished something it hasn't done all month: Close higher three days in a row.

Stock futures edged higher Friday morning, capping off a week of wild trading. The Dow was set to rise more than 150 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were both modestly higher.

Stocks often finish December with rallies, but this isn't a typical December. Huge swings in both directions have sent investors' heads spinning. The Dow had its worst-ever Christmas Eve on Monday, only to post its best-ever point gain when trading resumed on Wednesday. Stocks were sharply lower for most of Thursday before roaring back at the close to finish the day in positive territory.

In a quiet week for news, market analysts say extreme volatility has been driven by thin trading volume and stocks hitting technical limits that rapidly drive sentiment from fear to greed and back again.

"As the market continues to worry about a recession, the implications of a trade war with China, and unpredictable and adverse political decision-making from the White House, we are going to continue to see volatility," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.

Despite this week's gains, December has been a miserable month for stocks. The S&P 500 came within inches of entering a bear market multiple this week. This December is the worst for stocks since 1931.

"The rough market has worn on the psyches of investors," said Scott Wren, senior global equities strategist for Wells Fargo, in a note to clients. "This year turned quickly from meeting our expectations for the S&P 500 to falling well short of those expectations over the course of a few short weeks."

European markets rose by more than 1.5% Friday, while stocks in Asia eked out smaller gains.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 302484

Reported Deaths: 6859
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1249923690
Riverside23334533
Orange21517402
San Diego18402415
San Bernardino17414304
Imperial7654127
Fresno762787
Alameda7407146
San Joaquin606567
Kern597989
Santa Clara5678166
Tulare5509148
Sacramento493278
Stanislaus436450
Contra Costa435788
San Francisco414550
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3787111
Marin322730
Kings285539
Monterey234317
Solano198527
Merced179312
Sonoma151914
Placer99311
San Luis Obispo8774
Madera8578
Yolo80228
Santa Cruz5063
Napa4664
Sutter3374
Butte3194
San Benito3112
El Dorado2920
Lassen2690
Shasta1766
Yuba1633
Humboldt1614
Glenn1590
Nevada1591
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Lake1011
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Tuolumne600
Del Norte580
Mono491
Amador360
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
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Hi: 101° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Willows
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A hot week will transform into an even hotter weekend over northern California as high pressure stays in control of our weather. No rain is in the forecast, but it will cool a bit by late next week.
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