Nation & World

After worst week in two years, stocks jump in best day since 2015 as dollar falls

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 21, 2018.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

U.S. equities surged back from the biggest weekly rout in two years, with major benchmarks climbing more than 2.7 percent on signs that an escalation of trade tensions was beginning to ease.

Chipmakers and banks led gains as the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest one-day jump since August 2015, while 20 stocks climbed for every one that fell. The advance erased Friday’s drop, though the gauge still had a ways to go to make up all of last week’s losses. Facebook Inc. was a noticeable underperformer, ending just slightly higher after the Federal Trade Commission said it has an open, non-public probe into the company’s privacy practices.

The optimism toward U.S. stocks emerged after the limits of the Trump administration’s willingness to embrace protectionism came into view over the weekend. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News that he’s “cautiously hopeful” that China will reach a deal to avoid tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. exports, while European leaders demanded a permanent exclusion at the threat of retaliation and a deal was struck with South Korea.

The Trump administration tends “to negotiate to a more reasonable position, or more toward the center, as time goes on,” Maggie Gage, the head of Washington research at Credit Suisse Securities, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We’re cautiously optimistic that that will apply here too with the Chinese tariffs.”

Microsoft Corp.’s 7.6 percent surge was the biggest contributor to the S&P 500’s advance, followed by the 4.8 percent gain in Apple Inc. Gains in financial shares were led by Comerica Inc. and Metlife Inc.

Elsewhere, 10-year Treasury yields edged higher ahead of major debt sales. The dollar dropped to a one-month low and European shares slid for a fourth day as investors remain on edge over the region’s growth prospects. Brent crude traded near $70 a barrel on lingering tension in the Middle East. A measure of U.S. corporate junk bonds rose the most in a month. The euro advanced to the strongest since mid-February.

These are the main moves in markets:

- The S&P 500 Index rose 2.7 percent as of the close of trading in New York.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 percent.

- The MSCI All-Country World Index rose 1.5 percent.

- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 percent, the largest advance in two weeks.

- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.4 percent to the lowest in five weeks.

- The euro climbed 0.8 percent to $1.2456.

- The British pound jumped 0.7 percent to $1.4232, the strongest since Feb. 1.

- The Japanese yen fell 0.7 percent to 105.46 per dollar.

- The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed four basis points to 2.85 percent.

- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.52 percent.

- Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 1.44 percent.

- Gold climbed 0.4 percent to $1,352.15 an ounce, the highest in a month.

- Brent crude declined 0.6 percent to $70.05 a barrel.

- Copper futures fell 0.4 percent to $2.982 a pound.

- With assistance from Nancy Moran Adam Haigh Christopher Anstey Eddie van der Walt Samuel Potter and Andrew Cinko

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

MORE Nation & World ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

Spoiler Alert.'Avengers: Infinity War' makes its predecessors seem like small potatoes. The 19th film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it combines nine franchises and more than 30 major characters. Audiences now have a decade ...

PARIS - Global wine output fell to its lowest level in 60 years in 2017 due to poor weather conditions in the European Union that slashed production in the bloc, international wine organization OIV said.Wine production totaled 250 ...

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.