Stocks reach record levels due to strong economic data

Stocks reach record levels due to strong economic data

Profit-taking pushed Japan’s Nikkei down 1% and dragged on the Shanghai Composite. The S&P 500 closed Monday at a record peak and futures dipped 0.2% on Tuesday. [.N]

Equities as measured by the 49-country spanning MSCI All Country World Index hit an all-time high as European stocks played catch-up with gains in Asia and Wall Street overnight in their first trading session since the Easter holiday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index hit a record high after the open in Europe.[.EU] On the heels of a bumper U.S. jobs report on Friday, March data showed services activity hit a record high. China’s service sector has also gathered steam with the sharpest increase in sales in three months.

“We think investors should not fear entering the market at all-time highs,” said Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer, UBS Global Wealth Management. “We recommend continuing to position for the reflation trade as the economic recovery gathers pace – data released Friday showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls surged by 916,000 in March, the biggest gain since August. “

The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell to 1.7093%, while the U.S. dollar has mostly missed out on a big bounce from the strong data and held at $1.1819 per euro a day after posting its steepest drop since mid-March. Elsewhere, Swiss lender Credit Suisse sought to draw a line under its exposure to the implosion of hedge fund Archegos Capital, announcing the debacle would cost it about $4.7 billion and two senior executives their jobs. STEADY STATE

The steadying Treasury yields and dollar follow a charge higher over the first quarter, with an 83 basis point rise in 10-year yields, the biggest quarterly gain in a dozen years, and a 3.6% rise in the dollar index – the sharpest since 2018. “Bonds have settled down now,” said Omkar Joshi, portfolio manager at Opal Capital Management in Sydney, after a hard and fast selloff. “I think markets can keep powering on from here.” Minutes from the March meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, due on Wednesday, are the next focus for bond markets, although they will not address the most recent data surprises and markets have run far ahead of Fed projections for years of low rates.

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