Global markets are ripping higher after the French election – Business Insider

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Screen Shot 2017 04 24 at 9.32.42 AM Markets Insider

US stocks rose sharply on Monday, tracking European and Asian stocks, as investors breathed a sigh of relief after the centrist candidate and market favorite, Emmanuel Macron, won the first round of the French presidential election.

Polls suggest Macron, a pro-European Union candidate, is expected to beat his right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in a deciding vote next month, reducing the chances of France taking a Britain-like shock step to exit the EU.

The Nasdaq rose to an all-time high. 

At 9:37 a.m. ET, the Dow is up 200 points (0.98%), the S&P 500 is up 23 points (0.98%) and the Nasdaq is up 62 points (1.06%). 

While eurozone stocks headed for their best day in two years, gold prices tumbled amid an unwinding of haven trades. Gold traded down by 1.30%, or $16.74 an ounce, to $1,272.26.

US investors are also gearing up for the busiest earnings week in at least a decade, with more than 190 S&P 500 members, including the heavyweights Alphabet and Microsoft, scheduled to report results.

Investors have held on even as tensions in North Korea, the French election, and a flagging “Trump trade” have weighed on sentiment in recent weeks, encouraged by a strong showing in the first-quarter earnings season.

Upbeat earnings so far have increased expectations for profit growth. Overall profit for S&P 500 companies is now estimated to have risen by 11.2% in the first quarter, compared with the 10.1% forecast at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Wall Street closed lower but well off session lows Friday after President Donald Trump said he would have a “big announcement” on tax reforms on Wednesday.

Shares of big US banks, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan, rosy by over 2% in premarket trading Monday. The S&P 500 financial sector had been the broader index’s biggest underperformer last week as investors favored haven assets amid geopolitical risks.

Hasbro rose by 2.6% after the toymaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Shares of its rival Mattel were up by nearly 2% on the news.

The medical devices maker C R Bard jumped by 20% to $304 after the US medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson said it would buy Bard for $24 billion.

(Reuters reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)