U.S. Stocks Hit Records as Oil Rallies, Bonds Slip: Markets Wrap

  • Crude rises as Russia, Saudi Arabia favor longer output deal
  • S&P 500 climbs above 2,400 as dollar retreats fourth day

Saudis, Russia Favor Prolonged Oil Production Cuts

U.S. stock indexes rose to new highs as a rally in crude and dollar weakness sparked gains in commodities producers. Emerging-market assets jumped and Treasuries slid.

The S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index set records as energy, financial and materials shares paced the gains. West Texas Intermediate crude added 2 percent after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they’d extend a production-cut deal longer than expected. The South African rand, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Canadian dollar were among the best performing major currencies.

Crude also got a boost from China’s sweeping plan to boost global infrastructure, though data showed the country’s factory output and investment slowed in April. Commodities have struggled for weeks as signs of a crude glut re-emerged and President Donald Trump struggled to get his infrastructure plan underway. Numbers on American retail sales and inflation also cast a shadow on growth.

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Here’s what investors will be watching this week:

  • The most important U.S. data point will be industrial production on Tuesday.
  • A squeeze on U.K. consumers may be evident Tuesday, when inflation figures may show a further surge to 2.6 percent in April. Wednesday’s labor report may reveal pay rose 2.1 percent, down from 2.2 percent.
  • IEA releases its estimates of April OPEC production on Tuesday. OPEC’s internal Economic Commission Board meets in Vienna Wednesday to discuss the market in preparation for the group’s formal meeting on May 25.
  • Singapore exports and Malaysia CPI for April are due Wednesday, and the Australian jobs report a day later.
  • In Japan, GDP for the first quarter will be the focus on Thursday, with growth expected to have accelerated. The Philippines will also publish first-quarter GDP figures. Bank Indonesia will meet, and is expected to keep rates on hold.

And here are the main movers:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.5 to close at 2,402.34, topping its record from last week. It ended that period down 0.4 percent, its first weekly loss since mid-April. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5 percent to 6,149.67, also an all-time high.
  • The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF, or HACK, jumped the most in six months after a wave of global online attacks over the weekend.
  • An S&P index of homebuilders climbed 1.4 percent as a measure of manufacturer confidence climbed.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 ended higher by 0.1 percent after touching the highest level since August 2015 last week.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index added 0.9 percent to reach a new high and push its six-day rally to 3.5 percent.

Commodities

  • WTI jumped 2.3 percent to $48.92 a barrel, after climbing 3.5 percent last week.
  • Gold futures advanced 0.24 percent to $1,231 an ounce, extending gains to a third day.
  • Copper futures increased 1 percent, while aluminum rose 0.8 percent.

Currencies 

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.3 percent after falling 0.4 percent Friday. The gauge has been down for four straight days.
  • The yen slipped 0.35 percent to 113.77 per dollar, while the euro added 0.4 percent to $1.0978.
  • South Africa’s rand gained 1.4 percent against the dollar, while the Brazilian real strengthened 0.54 percent and the Mexican peso added 0.8 percent.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose one basis point to 2.34 percent, after dropping six points Friday when the weaker-than-expected CPI report buoyed bond prices. 
  • Benchmark yields in France rose four basis points and those in Germany climbed three basis points.

Asia

  • China shares trading in Hong Kong rallied to the highest level since March, as President Xi Jinping’s plans for an international infrastructure program overshadowed data showing slower growth in factory output and investment.
  • Tokyo shares almost erased earlier losses as the yen weakened and investors assessed a wave of corporate earnings. 
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