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NYSE president: The stock market open was 'smooth' after a volatile start to the week

  • The U.S. stock market's open on Tuesday was rather smooth after a volatile start to the week, NYSE's Tom Farley says.
  • Even after Monday's plunge, Farley says it's worth mentioning the market's gains since the 2016 presidential election and the improving economy.
Tom Farley
Kate Rooney | CNBC

The U.S. stock market's open on Tuesday was rather smooth after a volatile two days, New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley told CNBC.

Stocks erased earlier losses Tuesday as the indexes tried to recover from Monday's 1,175-point sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average turned negative again after rising more than 350 points Tuesday morning.

Even after Monday's plunge, Farley said, it's worth mentioning the stock market's gains since the 2016 presidential election and the improving economy.

"I think it's worth taking a step back, taking a deep breath and acknowledging the Dow is up" since the election, Farley said on "Squawk on the Street" shortly after the open. "Unemployment is down. ... GDP is up."

Since the election, the Dow is up more than 32 percent as of Monday's close; the S&P 500 is 23 percent higher; the Nasdaq is up more than 34 percent.

The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January, while GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the Commerce Department.

At this point, a movement in volatility and a pullback in price is to be expected, Farley said.

"As a group, we need to take a step back and say, 'We're going to be OK,'" he added.

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