The US stock market doesn't look poised to extend Wednesday's record-setting after-Christmas rally, with S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures all portending sharp declines on Thursday morning.
USA stocks posted their worst Christmas Eve session ever on Monday, as a ideal storm of concerns drove investors to bail out of a market that was already badly bruised.
"We continue to see strong economic growth in the USA economy with robust activity from consumers and business", Mnuchin said.
A little over 2,100 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq hit 52-week lows. "Trade tensions between the USA and China remain the biggest unknown factor for 2019", said Hussein Sayed, a strategist at online brokerage FXTM.
The stock market deepened its rout after the Fed's rate hike and its decision to let its massive balance sheet shrink at the current pace.
Wednesday was also the biggest post-Christmas comeback for the stock market ever, CNBC reported.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is up to 2.76 percent.
The market apparently got a lift Wednesday when Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the Fed chairman is in no danger of being fired. Small caps joined the rally with a 5 percent advance. The Nasdaq - also in a bear market - dropped 2.2 percent Monday, down 19.8 percent from its highest point on October 3.
Still, the S&P 500 and the Dow managed to avoid bear markets, and have bought themselves some time to work through the recent damage.
"We expect the effect on real GDP would amount to -0.07 percentage points per week of shutdown", the report said.
The president on Christmas Day cast fresh doubt on the record of Powell, whom he has increasingly blamed for the market weakness.
Trump resumed his attack on the Fed on Monday, tweeting that the central bank is "the only problem" with the US economy.
"The only problem our economy has is the Fed", the president said on Twitter. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 7.9 per cent to $54.47 a barrel in London.
Following the opening bell, individual stocks getting battered included Viacom (4.1 percent), Conagra (3.1 percent), Campbell Soup Co.
The dollar strengthened to 111.36 yen from 110.41 yen on Monday.
The S&P 500 hit a peak of 2930.75 on September 20, but before Wednesday, it was off 19.8 per cent from that high point, and needed to close down just seven more points to be in bear territory. The euro rose to $1.1397 from $1.1353. Copper gained 1.5 per cent to $2.70 a pound.
Additionally, Mnuchin may have rattled investors when he called the leaders of the six largest USA banks over the weekend in order to reassure nervous investors that the financial markets and economy were functioning properly.