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US stocks surge, Nasdaq hits record on French vote result

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-04-2017 Yashaswini Swamynathan

The Nasdaq hit a record high on Monday, with other indices also rallying, as investors breathed a sigh of relief after Centrist candidate and market favorite Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election.

Polls showed pro-EU Macron is expected to beat right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in a deciding vote on 7 May, quelling some fears of a breakup of the Eurozone after Britain’s shock exit vote last year.

“The markets are in a strong rebound as the expectations of the first round of the French elections results were pleasing,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.

The rally on Wall Street was broad-based, with all of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors trading higher, led by a 2% surge in the financial index as big US banks rose.

The three major indices notched gains of more than 1%.

At 9:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 209.6 points, or 1.02%, at 20,757.36, the S&P 500 was up 25.3 points, or 1.1%, at 2,373.99 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 67.49 points, or 1.14%, at 5,978.02.

US investors are also gearing up for the busiest earnings week in at least a decade, with over 190 S&P 500 members, including heavyweights Alphabet and Microsoft due to report results.

Overall profit for S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 11.2% in the first quarter, compared with the 10.1% forecast at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Prices of safe-haven gold dropped nearly 1%, while the CBOE Volatility index tumbled nearly 19%.

Hasbro surged 6.3% after the toymaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Medical device maker C R Bard jumped more than 19% to $302 after US medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson said it would buy Bard for $24 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,298 to 367. On the Nasdaq, 2,054 issues rose and 359 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 62 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 123 new highs and six new lows. Reuters.

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