U.S. Stocks Little Changed Ahead of French Vote as Oil Declines

U.S. stocks were little changed as investors assessed the French vote this weekend and after the benchmark gained as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said plans to reform taxes have progressed.

The S&P 500 lost less than 0.1 percent at 10 a.m. in New York. The benchmark rose 0.8 percent on Thursday as financial and industrial shares climbed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 22 points to 20,601.

  • Utility stocks leading market, up 0.7% as U.S. Treasury yields drop with 10-year down a basis point
  • Energy shares down 0.7% for worst loss in market as oil drops 0.6%
  • Volume in S&P 500 24% above 30-day average in early trading
  • VIX up to 14.55
  • POLITICS:
    • The murder of a policeman on the Champs-Elysees has forced an early end to campaigning for the leading candidates ahead of Sunday’s first round vote in the most uncertain election in recent French history
      • A Le Pen/Melenchon 1-2 on Sunday could spark 5%-10% selloff in European stocks, while a Macron-Fillon 1-2 could trigger 3%-6% rally, Citi equity strategists write in note
    • Story: Mnuchin’s Talk of Tax Plan ‘Soon’ Stirs Markets and Skeptics
  • ECONOMY:
    • U.S. April flash manufacturing PMI 52.8; Est 53.8
    • Index falls to 52.8 from 53.3 in March; year ago 50.8
  • EARNINGS (S&P 500):
    • Pre-market Monday: Hasbro (HAS), Halliburton (HAL), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Illinois Tool Works (ITW)

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