S&P 500 Posts Best Gain in Three Weeks; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi), top, and the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Kosdaq) is displayed on a screen at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul, South Korea. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

S&P 500 Posts Best Gain in Three Weeks; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap

U.S. stocks rose to an all-time high on optimism over the vaccine rollout and after the Federal Reserve freed banks from restrictions on dividends. Oil gained as the dollar slumped.

The S&P 500 Index climbed the most in three weeks amid a late-day surge and ended at a record, with energy producers and health companies among the best performers Friday. Automakers retreated as they confront a worsening global shortage of semiconductors.

Risk appetite also came back in Europe and Asia, capping a volatile week beset with vaccine-supply disputes, a traffic block on the Suez canal and further deterioration in China’s relations with the West. The U.S. outlook got a boost after President Joe Biden doubled the goal for vaccinations in his first 100 days in office to 200 million.

S&P 500 Posts Best Gain in Three Weeks; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap

“The tone of the market has somehow altered from angst to optimism, spurred by President Biden’s doubling of the U.S. vaccine-rollout target and the Fed’s end to pandemic-era dividend cuts,” Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, a strategist at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, wrote in a note. “It’s remarkable how little it takes to shift the mood.”

The delay in freeing the ship stuck on the Suez Canal boosted oil, trimming a weekly loss in West Texas Intermediate crude.

European stocks rose in a broad advance. Miners and energy firms benefited from a rotation into cyclical re-opening trades. An index of Asian shares jumped the most in two weeks.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin clawed back earlier losses to trade near $54,000.

S&P 500 Posts Best Gain in Three Weeks; Oil Jumps: Markets Wrap

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index climbed 1.7% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.9%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1.3%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 1.4%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2%.
  • The euro gained 0.3% to $1.1796.
  • The British pound rose 0.4% to $1.3784.
  • The Japanese yen weakened 0.5% to 109.67 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries added three basis points to 1.66%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield jumped four basis points to -0.35%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to 0.75%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3.8% to $60.80 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.3% to $1,731.61 an ounce.

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