Stocks in the United States fell at the start of trading on Thursday, as Wall Street’s roller-coaster ride continued. The losses came a day after the S&P 500 had its best one-day performance since 2009.
■ The rise Wednesday had followed reports of strong holiday-shopping sales, a jump in crude oil prices and reassuring words from the White House about the Federal Reserve.
[Read more about the rally on Wednesday, which yielded a record gain for the Dow Jones industrial average.]
■ But the S&P 500 is still on track for its worst annual performance in a decade, and any hope that investors are ready to set aside various factors that have put them on edge — including trade tensions between the United States and China; a global slowdown in economic growth; President Trump’s simmering antipathy toward Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chairman — vanished as major indexes fell to open the day on Thursday.
■ The drop on Wall Street came after market declines across Europe. The Euro Stoxx 50, a measure of blue-chip European companies, was down 1 percent by the early afternoon. Britain’s FTSE 100 was off 1.27 percent, France’s CAC 40 had lost 0.34 percent and the Dax in Germany was 2.09 percent lower.
[It’s not just the stock market that’s flashing warnings. The bond market is too.]
■ Asian markets were mixed on the day, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 ending trading around 3.9 percent higher after dipping into bear-market territory — at least 20 percent off its recent peak — earlier in the week. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi index was flat, and Taiwan’s Taiex rose 1.7 percent.
One likely cause for concern was Chinese officials’ announcement on Thursday that industrial profits had declined in November for the first time in three years, a reminder that the growth of the world’s second-largest economy continues to slow.