Nasdaq hits record close as French vote boosts stocks

The Nasdaq logo is displayed at the Nasdaq Market site in New York.
The Nasdaq logo is displayed at the Nasdaq Market site in New York.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Nasdaq surged to a record close Monday (April 24) as US stocks joined a global rally following the strong performance by centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of voting Sunday.

The Nasdaq gained 1.2 per cent to finish the day at 5,983.82, up about 67 points from a record set last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1 per cent to end the session at 20,763.89, and the broad-based S&P 500 also advanced 1.1 per cent to close at 2,374.15.

Global markets enjoyed a strong day after Macron advanced to the second round in the French vote May 7, with polls showing him decisively leading anti-EU, anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party.

"Markets are taking the news out of France very positively with the outcome of the first round of the election easing some of the concerns that had been in the market," said David Levy, portfolio manager of Republic Wealth Advisers.

 

As in Europe, banking shares led the US market, with Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase all winning about three per cent or more.

Technology shares also did well, with Google parent Alphabet, Facebook and Expedia all advancing more than one percent.

Health care supplier CR Bard jumped 19.5 per cent after reaching an agreement to be acquired by Becton Dickinson and Company for US$24 billion ($33.44 billion). Becton Dickinson lost 4.5 percent.

US paints and coatings group PPG rose 1.8 per cent after it again lifted its bid for AkzoNobel to at about 24.6 billion euros. The Dutch paintmaker has rejected to earlier bids.

Toy company Hasbro gained 5.9 percent as it reported a 40.6 per cent jump in first quarter net income to US$68.6 million. Revenues rose 2.0 per cent to US$849.7 million.