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The wild journey of stocks in 2018 is ready for a good ending

Futures point to a higher opening for the last day of 2018. Dow futures are up around 250 points. S & P 500 futures rose 0.9% and the Nasdaq futures rose 1.1%.
The market moved higher after President Donald Trump expressed optimism on Saturday that the United States could reach a trade agreement with China. He tweeted an agreement "went very well," calling the negotiations "very comprehensive."

But except for miracles, this will be the second down year for the US market since the 2008 financial crisis. The S & P 500 fell 7%, the Dow fell 6.7% and the Nasdaq has fallen 4.6% this year.

The S & P 500 and the Dow fell slightly in 2015, but the Nasdaq was higher that year.

2018 is characterized by wild volatility throughout the year, especially in February and December.

Only in the last 10 trading days, the Dow dropped more than 350 points six times, including a decline of 653 points on December 24, the worst decline in Christmas Eve points ever recorded. But when investors returned to the market on December 26, the Dow jumped 1,086 points, the biggest increase in points ever.

The market is in a period of historic volatility. The S & P 500 goes up or down more than 1% nine times in December alone, compared to eight times in 2017. This has moved 64 times this year.

Volatility has been driven by signs of a global economic slowdown, worries about monetary policy, political dysfunction, inflation fears and concerns about increasing regulation of the technology sector.

Fears about the global trade war, triggered by the threats and actions of the Trump administration against trading partners, remain a source of concern for the market.
Although the US economy has been strong, some fear the Federal Reserve has raised rates too quickly and could hamper economic growth. Previously well-known US technology stocks, such as Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) are now down for this year ahead of Monday's trade.
The impact of Brexit on the UK and Europe is also worrying for investors, as is the slowdown in the Chinese economy.

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