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U.S. Stocks Gain as Oil Rallies to Six-Month High: Markets Wrap

Sarah Ponczek and Vildana Hajric
U.S. Stocks Gain as Oil Rallies to Six-Month High: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. equities eked out a gain in light volume as investors prepared for a deluge of earnings news. Oil jumped after the White House said it will scrap waivers that allow the purchase of some Iranian crude.

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent even as most members of the gauge fell, and closed about 1 percent below its all-time high. Energy shares rallied alongside crude prices, while real-estate companies slumped after sales of previously owned U.S. homes eased more than forecast in March. The dollar was steady as 10-year Treasury yields inched up.

With corporate reporting season in full flow, investors are looking for clues as to whether the dovish policy pivot from the world’s central banks can shore up global growth enough to outweigh any deterioration in earnings. The stock market appears to be saying yes for now, with the U.S. equity benchmark near a record high and an MSCI gauge of global equities on track for a fourth month of gains.

“It’s going to take something else to push the S&P 500 to new all-time highs,” Tom Essaye, a former Merrill Lynch trader who founded “The Sevens Report” newsletter, wrote to clients Monday. “That was the main takeaway from last week, as good Chinese economic data, ‘progress’ on U.S.-China trade, and dovish Fed utterances about average inflation failed to spur a rally in stocks -- reflecting the fact that all those positives are now priced into markets.”

Traders have a week full of company earnings releases to look forward to, including from major technology firms. They’ll also be focused on the U.S. economy, with first-quarter gross domestic product data due Friday.

Elsewhere, Chinese stocks and bonds fell as investors wagered future stimulus will be limited, while shares in Japan finished slightly higher. In Sri Lanka, bonds and the rupee slipped after Sunday’s terrorist attacks. The Easter holiday weekend shut trading in much of Europe. Bloomberg’s commodity index climbed as West Texas oil rose to the highest since October.

Here are some notable events coming up:

A Who’s Who of the tech world reports this week, with Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Tesla among the heavy hitters on tap. European bank earnings kick into full gear with reports from Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Swedbank.The Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada, Bank of Russia, Sweden’s Riksbank and Bank of Indonesia set monetary policy.Germany’s IFO data is released Wednesday.Japan’s Shinzo Abe meets leaders of the European Union Thursday before flying to the U.S. for a summit with President Donald Trump.The initial print on first-quarter U.S. GDP Friday will be closely watched for clues as to how the economy responded to the government shutdown and fallout from the fourth-quarter market rout.

These are the main market moves:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent at the close of trading in New York.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent.The Shanghai Composite Index decreased 1.7 percent, the largest dip in more than three weeks.The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.3 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The offshore yuan fell 0.2 percent.The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1259.The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell 0.1 percent.

Bonds

The yield on two-year Treasuries rose less than one basis point to 2.387 percent.The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose three basis points to 2.59 percent.

Commodities

Bloomberg’s commodity index rose 0.3 percent.Gold was little changed at $1,275.13 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude increased 2.7 percent to $65.70 a barrel.Copper sank 0.5 percent to $2.9115 a pound.

--With assistance from Cormac Mullen and Todd White.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.net;Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Brendan Walsh

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