Nasdaq Tops Record on Tech Rally; Europe Shares Gain on Greece

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The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied the most since January, closing at a record as Broadcom Corp. led a surge in technology shares. Optimism that Greece made progress with creditors boosted European stocks to a one-month high.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.5 percent by 4 p.m. in New York, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.9 percent for its biggest advance in two weeks. Both gauges rebounded after sliding Tuesday by the most since May 5. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.3 percent, halting a three-day decline. Yields on 10-year Greek bonds tumbled 79 basis points, while the country’s ASE Index surged 3.6 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index maintained gains. Brent oil and sugar slumped.

Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp rose at least 1.8 percent to pace gains in technology stocks, while Broadcom surged to a 14-year high on prospects of a takeover. Equities in the U.S. and Europe got a boost in early trading after a Greek government official said the country and its creditors have started crafting a staff level accord to solve its debt crisis.

“You’ve got a couple company specific moves, but the big picture is just kind of a combination of this Greece headline bouncing off of yesterday’s move,” said Michael Antonelli, an institutional equity sales trader and managing director at Robert W. Baird & Co. “As tiresome as it is, it’s Greece and the Fed. Those are the two things the market is concerned about right now.”

Tiffany, Kors

Among other stocks moving Wednesday, Tiffany & Co. jumped 11 percent after posting quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. tumbled 24 percent after its 2016 earnings forecast fell short of projections. Hormel Foods Corp. advanced 3.2 percent after the maker of Spam agreed to buy closely held Applegate Farms LLC. The Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index rallied 2.3 percent to halt a five-day slide that took the gauge into a bear market.

U.S. stocks slid 1 percent Tuesday as data indicating the economic recovery may be gathering pace merged with comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday to burnish the outlook for higher borrowing costs this year.

The selloff followed the slowest week in 2015 for domestic stocks, which fluctuated within the smallest range in six months over the five days. The S&P 500 ended Wednesday 0.3 percent below its May 21 record.

“It’s a big reversal from yesterday more than anything else,” said Jim Paulsen, the Minneapolis-based chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management Inc., which oversees $347 billion. “Until it really makes a more decisive breakout one way or the other, I don’t know if you can say much about it day in and day out.”

No Deal

The Stoxx 600 rallied after losing 1 percent over the past three days. Benchmark equity gauges of Greece and Italy climbed the most among western-European markets even amid conflicting takes on Greece’s debt negotiations.

While the Greek official said the sides were drafting an accord, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis denied that a deal was close, with the two sides far apart on the agreement needed to unlock much-needed bailout aid.

The Stoxx 600 has increased 19 percent this year, reaching a record in April, as the European Central Bank started a stimulatory bond-buying program. The measure resumed gains this month as the euro weakened.

“The decline in European stocks was far too steep and it was affected by the selloff in the U.S.,” said Pierre Mouton, who helps oversee $8.3 billion as a money manager at Notz, Stucki & Cie. in Geneva. “Even though the markets may be afraid of a rate hike in the U.S. sooner than they thought before, this doesn’t affect ECB policy and the European economy. We know Europe is healing.”

Dollar Surge

The best run of U.S. economic data this year bolstered the case on Tuesday for higher interest rates, boosting the dollar to an almost eight-year high versus the yen. The dollar is also surging against other developed-market currencies. While 0.3 percent stronger on Wednesday, the euro has sunk almost 2 percent since May 21 to $1.0904.

New Zealand’s dollar climbed 0.5 percent Wednesday after Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s biggest dairy exporter, forecast a recovery in milk prices even as they cut their estimated payout to kiwi farmers for the current season.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index decreased 0.7 percent, its third day of losses. Benchmark gauges in Dubai, South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia fell more than 1 percent. Qatar’s benchmark index slid 1.5 percent, the most in eight weeks, after Swiss authorities said they’re probing the vote and process that saw the Gulf nation awarded the right to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup.

Commodity Moves

Oil posted its biggest two-day slide in London since March as investors weighed Iraqi plans for record exports against a forecast showing U.S. crude inventories shrank for a fourth week. Brent lost 2.6 percent to $62.06 a barrel, its lowest close since April 15, while West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.9 percent to $57.51 a barrel.

WTI extended losses in electronic trading after the American Petroleum Institute was said to report an increase in overall stockpiles last week. U.S. crude inventories rose 1.3 million barrels, according to ForexLive.

Sugar tumbled to a six-year low Wednesday as the currency of Brazil, the world’s biggest producer and exporter, extended its slump against the dollar. The commodity is heading for the third monthly loss since January, crumbling under the pressure of the weaker South American currency that’s cutting costs for growers and adding to concern the global glut will keep expanding.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell a third day, slipping 0.8 percent to its lowest level since April 14.

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