The major averages are poised to advance sharply following the first round of France’s presidential election. Investors appear optimistic as the market’s favored candidate, centrist Emmanuel Macron, won the first round of Sunday’s vote in France, eliminating leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon and conservative François Fillon from the race. Macron will face off against anti-E.U. National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the second round on May 7.
In M&A news, C.R. Bard is jumping 19.2% to $301.74 after agreeing to a $24 billion takeover bid from rival Becton Dickinson. Shares of Kimberly-Clark are down 2.6% to $126.62 as the consumer products maker’s first-quarter net sales missed expectations.
European markets are surging near mid-session with the broad Euro STOXX 500 advancing 2.1%. The CAC 40 in Paris is climbing 4.6% amid the French election results. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s DAX is gaining 3.1% as German business sentiment rose to the strongest level in almost six years. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.4% as exporters benefitted from weakness in the yen. Chinese stocks finished lower with the Shanghai Composite losing 1.4% overnight for its worst session of 2017.
Treasuries are declining with the benchmark 10-year note down 13/32 to yield 2.30%. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude is adding 0.5% to $49.89/barrel. COMEX gold is losing 1.5% to $1267.60/ounce. In FOREX, the U.S. dollar is retreating 1.2% against the euro.
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Benjamin J. Chuckrow
Senior Vice President – Branch Manager
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC