How major US stock market indexes fared on Monday

Cheryl Sanders
April 28, 2017

US stocks joined a worldwide surge Monday after the first round of France's presidential election raised expectations that the European Union will hold together.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent, or 25.72 points, to finish at 7,222.94, underpinned by materials and consumer discretionary stocks.

Shares in French companies and banks saw the biggest gains across the region with the euro zone's bank index rising more than 5 percent to its highest level in 16 months and Paris blue chips hitting their highest since April 2015.

Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, if elected, could, with the help of the conservative The Republicans party in the parliament, unite France and set its economy right, Dirk Hazell, the leader of the European People's Party UK, told Sputnik on Sunday.

North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, in the latest sign of rising tension as Trump prepared to call the leaders of China and Japan.

Ms Le Pen is one of the candidates who campaigned against the European Union, but many investors expect Mr Macron to win. A wave of relief boosted France's CAC 40 index by 4.1 percent, taking it briefly to its highest level since 2008. This morning, the closely watched CBOE Vix Index opened 22 percent lower.

Prices for Treasury bonds also dropped, which sent yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.27% from 2.25% late on Friday.

Philips rose 3.2 percent after the maker of medical devices and healthcare products beat expectations, while results at Swedish telecoms firm Tele2 were also stronger than expected, sending its shares up 7.2 percent.

Financial stocks in the SP 500 jumped 2.2 per cent, by far the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index.

On the earnings front, Alcoa (NYSE: AA), Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX), and Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) are among the major companies due to report after the market close.

The Dow ended Friday down a minor 0.15 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.11 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 23 cents to $49.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, fell 36 cents to 51.60 dollars per barrel. Natural gas fell to $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet, and wholesale gasoline dropped to $1.62 a gallon.

Silver was virtually flat at 17.86 dollars per ounce and copper added 1.5 cents to 2.55 dollars per pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar recovered to 110.04 yen from 109.09 yen late last week in Asia.

Shanghai shares, however, fell 1.5 percent after state media signalled Beijing would tolerate more market volatility as regulators clamp down on riskier financing.

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