Stocks End Week at Records on Economic Optimism: Markets Wrap
A trader works in S&P 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Jim Young/Bloomberg)

Stocks End Week at Records on Economic Optimism: Markets Wrap

U.S. stocks ended the week at all-time highs as Chinese growth data added to signs of a global economic recovery. The dollar slipped.

The S&P 500 Index capped its fourth straight weekly advance as the strong data from Asia joined a raft of robust readings in the world’s largest economy to boost sentiment. Chinese stocks outperformed in Asia after a report showed the nation’s economy soared in the first quarter. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted a seventh week of advances, its longest streak since May 2018.

The data from Beijing added to Thursday’s string of positive economic figures out of the U.S., pushing the MSCI All-Country World Index to a fresh record. Treasuries extended their gains. Morgan Stanley became the latest American bank to post record first-quarter results.

Stocks End Week at Records on Economic Optimism: Markets Wrap

Along with healthy corporate earnings, the week’s dump of data gave fresh impetus to the reflation trade. In the U.S., retail sales and weekly jobless claims data signaled an accelerating recovery in the world’s biggest economy. Investors will look for further confirmation as the reporting season picks up pace next week, with about 80 S&P 500 members and more than 50 Stoxx 600 firms announcing.

“In addition to earnings, there has been plenty of impressive data to digest indicating that the U.S. economy is firing up,” Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at City Index, said. “With a strong vaccine rollout in addition to fiscal stimulus and loose monetary policy, the recovery is picking up pace. Despite the blowout data, U.S. treasury yields are heading lower suggesting investors have bought into the Fed’s low rates for longer mantra.”

Stocks End Week at Records on Economic Optimism: Markets Wrap

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.4% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Nasdaq 100 added 0.1%.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 0.9%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.3%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 0.6%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.
  • The euro jumped 0.1% to $1.1978.
  • The British pound gained 0.3% to $1.3834.
  • The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.52 per dollar.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 108.76 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.57%.
  • The yield on two-year Treasuries climbed less than one basis point to 0.16%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to -0.265%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield jumped three basis points to 0.762%.
  • Japan’s 10-year yield increased less than one basis point to 0.093%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.5% to $63.14 a barrel.
  • Gold strengthened 0.8% to $1,778.25 an ounce.

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