U.S. Stocks Jump on Tax Bets as Treasuries Slump: Markets Wrap

  • Markets invigrorated by Mnuchin’s comments on coming tax plan
  • Dow average advances from two-month low, Europe equities mixed

Japan's March Exports Rise 12 Percent

U.S. stocks jumped amid corporate results and comments from the Treasury Secretary that bolstered bets the Trump administration would cut taxes soon. The dollar all but erased losses and Treasuries fell as the odds for a June interest-rate hike climbed.

The S&P 500 Index had its second best day since March as Steven Mnuchin said plans to reform taxes have progressed. Financial shares continued an up-and-down week as American Express Co. powered the group to a gain of 1.6 percent two days after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sent it tumbling. Bloomberg’s dollar spot index was flat after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the country will maintain an accommodative monetary policy.

Mnuchin’s comments eased growing concern that President Donald Trump’s fiscal agenda is foundering, while the odds for a rates hike in June surged toward toward 60 percent after Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan reiterated that three increases this year remain appropriate. Earnings continued paint a mixed picture on the health of the economy, while investors kept an eye on a series of elections in Europe and tensions around North Korea and Syria that threaten to ratchet up market risks.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

Here are the events that investors will be watching:

  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence continues his Asia-Pacific trip with a stop in Jakarta. 
  • The first round of voting in the French election is on Sunday, and the two leading candidates will run off in a winner-takes-all contest on May 7.

And here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks 

  • The S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent to 2,355.92 at 4 p.m. in New York. 
  • AmEx surged nearly 6 percent to pace gains in the financial group after its results topped estimates. 
  • Qualcomm Inc. rose slightly and EBay Inc. retreated on earnings reports, while CSX Corp. jumped after announcing a share buyback. 
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher by 0.2 percent after swinging between gains and losses.
  • Emerging-market equities jumped 0.6 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was unchanged, erasing a loss that reached 0.3 percent after Kuroda’s comments to Bloomberg News. The measure surged 0.5 percent Wednesday.
  • The pound rose 0.3 percent to $1.2819 and the euro climbed 0.13 percent to $1.0725.
  • The yen weakened 0.4 percent to 109.34 per dollar, following a 0.4 percent decline on Wednesday.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.24 after a five-basis-point advance Wednesday.
  • German government bond yields with a similar maturity added four basis points to 0.24 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate oil fell 0.3 percent to $50.27 a barrel, after tumbling 3.8 percent Wednesday when a report showed U.S. gasoline supplies increased for the first time since February, while crude output keeps rising.
  • Gold futures were little changed at $1,282.80 an ounce in New York.
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