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US: Wall St surges, Nasdaq hits record on French vote result

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[NEW YORK] 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 per cent surge in the financial index as big U.S. banks rose.

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

At 9.34 am ET (1334 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 209.6 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 20,757.36, the S&P 500 was up 25.3 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 2,373.99 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 67.49 points, or 1.14 per cent, at 5,978.02.

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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 and Microsoft due to report results.

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

The S&P 500 index showed 62 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 123 new highs and six new lows.


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