U.S. Stocks Rise on Earnings as Treasuries Slump: Markets Wrap

  • Consumer spending stalls in March, factory expansion slows
  • Many markets across the world are shut for holidays on Monday

Pond, Cabana on U.S. Economic Data and the Fed

U.S. technology stocks rallied to fresh records amid optimism over corporate results, while major indexes ended mixed on tepid economic data and comments by President Donald Trump on banking structure. Treasuries fell as Steven Mnuchin suggested ultralong bonds can “absolutely” make sense.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at an all-time high, while a late-session dip left the S&P 500 Index barely higher on the day. Trump roiled markets when he told Bloomberg News that he’s considering breaking up giant Wall Street banks. The dollar was flat as consumer spending stalled in March and factories expanded less than estimated. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped five basis points as the Treasury secretary said his department is considering debt longer than 30 years. Oil dropped to a one-month low.

Trump’s interview with Bloomberg whipsawed markets as he suggested raising the gas tax to fund infrastructure and reintroducing rules that keep commercial and investment banking operations separate. Earnings remain in focus, with 73 percent of S&P 500 firms topping profit estimates, with tech shares outperforming. Data Monday contributed to a mixed picture of the American economy even as measures of consumer and business sentiment point to acceleration. The agreement to keep the government funded erased a near-term threat.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

Here are the main events and data releases coming up this week:

  • Investors will be watching comments from a policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee Wednesday.
  • The monthly U.S. government jobs report is due Friday.
  • Australia will deliver a monetary policy decision Tuesday. The benchmark interest rate will remain unchanged at 1.5 percent for a ninth month, traders and economists predict, after data last week showed quickening inflation. 
  • The second round of the French presidential election takes place May 7; Marine Le Pen said Monday she would begin negotiations on a euro exit immediately if elected.
  • Apple Inc., BP Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Facebook Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Time Warner Inc., Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., BMW AG, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Volkswagen AG are among companies releasing earnings.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 increased 0.2 percent 2,388.33 at 4 p.m. in New York, falling from session highs in the final half hour of trading.
  • The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.7 percent, while small caps in the Russell 2000 Index added 0.5 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished lower.
  • The Nasdaq 100 Index jumped 0.9 percent, while Boeing Co. weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Emerging-market equities rose 0.2 percent.
  • Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.5 percent to the highest close since March 29. 

Currencies 

  • The yen touched 111.92 per dollar, the weakest level since the end of March, and traded down 0.3 percent at 111.86 per dollar. The currency last week had the biggest slide since the Fed raised U.S. rates in December.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after erasing losses. The U.S. currency gained 0.3 percent against the British pound and was little changed versus the euro.

Commodities

  • Gold futures slid 1 percent to settle at $1,255.50 an ounce, the lowest close since April 10. The metal declined 1.3 percent last week, paring a yearly advance to 10 percent.
  • Comex copper for July deliver rose 2 percent to settle at $2.6605 a pound, touching a three-week high as the dollar weakened.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1 percent to settle at $48.84 a barrel as Libyan output surged, more rigs were added in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia cut prices to Asian customers.
  • Oil lost 2.5 percent in April, and is down almost 9 percent this year.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 2.32 percent, after dropping for three straight sessions. 
  • The U.S. Treasury Department has been studying the introduction of ultra-long bonds, Secretary Steven Mnuchin says in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

— With assistance by Eddie Van Der Walt, Mark Shenk, Susanne Barton, Saleha Mohsin, and Alexandria Arnold

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