Wall Street surges, Nasdaq hits record

The Nasdaq hit a record high on Monday, with other indexes also rallying, as investors breathed a sigh of relief after Centrist candidate and market favorite Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election.

Polls showed pro-EU Macron is expected to beat right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in a deciding vote on May 7, quelling some fears of a breakup of the Eurozone after Britain’s shock exit vote last year.

“The markets are in a strong rebound as the expectations of the first round of the French elections results were pleasing,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.

The rally on Wall Street was broad-based, with all of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors trading higher, led by a 2 percent surge in the financial index .SPSY as big U.S. banks rose.

The three major indexes notched gains of more than 1 percent.

At 9:34 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 209.6 points, or 1.02 percent, at 20,757.36, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 25.3 points, or 1.1 percent, at 2,373.99 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 67.49 points, or 1.14 percent, at 5,978.02.

U.S. investors are also gearing up for the busiest earnings week in at least a decade, with over 190 S&P 500 members, including heavyweights Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) due to report results.

Overall profit for S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 11.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with the 10.1 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Prices of safe-haven gold dropped nearly 1 percent, while the CBOE Volatility index .VIX tumbled nearly 19 percent.

Hasbro (HAS.O) surged 6.3 percent after the toymaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

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