Despite Wednesday's gain, the market remained on track for its worst December since 1931, after several days of losses capped off by the worst Christmas Eve day of trading on Monday.
The Dow is up 433.08 points, or 1.9 per cent.
Wednesday was a respite from a very rough month for investors.
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were recently flirting with bear territory.
"Investors went bargain shopping the day after Christmas, where stocks just got too cheap relative to earnings, future earnings, any reasonable assessment of earnings", Chris Rupkey, managing director of MUFG told CNN.
Stocks found their footing after wobbling in morning trade.
The Nasdaq is already in a bear market.
Among retailers, Macy's gained 4.3 percent and Amazon.com rose 4.3 percent.
New Yorkers baffled as night sky turns blue
Con Ed is evaulating possible power outages. 'The transformer explosion in Astoria was. right outside my window, ' he said. The freakish sight set off a frenzy on social media, where people reported a power failure at LaGuardia Airport.
Winter storm to continue through the night
As of right now, it looks like we'll start off the new year with some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season thus far. This will begin with several inches overnight, and the majority of the accumulation will happen throughout Thursday.
Sarri refuses to be drawn on Wilson and Higuain
Nevertheless, deals for the likes of Neymar and Mbappe are highly unlikely in the January transfer window. I say thank you to my previous club, to Chelsea as well, who wanted me a lot.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude jumped 98 cents to $45.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But Washington has a different playbook this holiday break.
On Wednesday, Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, weighed in, saying Powell is in no danger of being fired, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Those doubts come of top of worries about how sharply the United States economy might lose steam next year.
"There are reasons we should be volatile, including a lot of unknowns as we head into 2019, starting with tariffs", said JJ Kinahan, chief markets strategist for TD Ameritrade, noting that below-average trading volume this time of year is also contributing to the market's volatility this week. "If the USA economy turns south, global capital markets are in for a world of hurt".
It's been a brutal month for markets, capped by a whirlwind holiday week as stocks swung from the worst Christmas Eve on record to the best day in a decade.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei swung between gains and losses Wednesday before closing up almost 1%.
US benchmark oil rose 1.1 per cent to $45.08 a barrel, giving a modest boost to energy stocks.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index and the Hang Seng index each lost at least 0.6%.
The lackluster finish to 2018 comes as most economists expect growth to slow in 2019, though not by enough to slide into a full-blown recession. "The reality is that the president no longer has a team of credible leaders to manage the American and the global economy". -China trade dispute and higher interest rates would slow the economy, hurting corporate profits.