U.S. stocks rebounded in afternoon trading Wednesday after slumping for six straight days on concern that growth in China was slowing more quickly than previously thought.
The three major U.S. indexes dropped six days in a row heading into Wednesday. That’s the longest market slide in more than three years. The Dow has fallen about 1,900 points over that period, while the slump wiped more than $2 trillion off the value of S&P 500 companies.
Wednesday was the second day that stocks staged a morning rally. A rebound on Tuesday faded in the final minutes of trading, with the Dow closing more than 200 points lower after having been up more than 400 earlier in the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 334 points, or 2.1 percent, to 15,996 as of 1:44 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 37 points, or 2 percent, to 1,904. The Nasdaq composite added 95 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,601.
Markets have been volatile since China decided to weaken its currency earlier this month. Investors interpreted the move as an attempt to bolster a sagging economy.
Traders are also jittery about the outlook for interest rates. The Federal Reserve has signaled it could raise its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade later as this year. The Fed isn’t expected to deliver a policy update until it wraps up a meeting of policymakers in mid-September.
Investors were also following the latest corporate deal and earnings news. Technology stocks were among the biggest gainers.
THE QUOTE: “When you’re in a market of high volatility, you tend to get big moves in both directions,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives with the Schwab Center for Financial Research.
ECONOMIC BELLWETHER: The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods, or items expected to last at least three years, rose 2 percent last month after a 4.1 percent gain in June.
Despite the increase, U.S. manufacturers still face a host of problems from a stronger dollar to falling oil prices and turbulence in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
OIL DEAL: Cameron International, a maker of equipment for the oil industry, jumped 41 percent after Schlumberger said it was buying the company in a cash-and-stock deal. Cameron rose $17.27 to $59.75.
NEVER MIND: Monsanto shares climbed 7 percent on news that the agricultural products maker has decided to abandon its takeover bid for rival Syngenta. The stock gained $6.30 to $95.72.
RETAIL THERAPY: Abercrombie & Fitch, Express and Chico’s FAS climbed after the retailers each delivered better-than-expected earnings. Abercrombie & Fitch jumped 8.6 percent, while Express surged 14.6 percent. Chico’s gained 3.3 percent.
EUROPEAN ACTION: Germany’s DAX was down 1.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 1.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.7 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Markets in Asia were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 3.2 percent. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent to 21,305.17, and mainland China’s smaller Shenzhen Composite lost 3.1 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 21 cents to $39.10 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 37 cents to $43.57.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.16 percent from 2.07 percent late Tuesday. The dollar rose 0.6 percent against the yen to 119.37. The euro dropped 1.3 percent to $1.1380.