STOCKS SOAR AFTER FRENCH ELECTION: Here's what you need to know

Stocks took off on Monday after the first round of the French presidential election.

Centerist candidate Emmanuel Macron and anti-European Union, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen nabbed the top two spots in the first round of voting on Sunday and will square off in the second round in May.

The strong showing and initial polling for Macron gave some relief for investors fears that France could leave the EU. In response, the Euro jumped against the US dollar but cooled off throughout the day.

We’ve got all the headlines, but first, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,770.65, +222.89, (+1.08%)
  • S&P 500: 2,374.11, +25.28, (+1.08%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,983.04, +72.59, (+1.23%)
  • US 10-year bond yield: 2.273%, (+0.036)
  • WTI crude oil: $US49.20, -0.42, (-0.85%)
  1. Trump’s tax plan will include a 15% corporate tax rate, may not be deficit neutral. The long-awaited cut would fulfil a campaign promise by Trump to lower the rate form the current 35% if passed. The plan, which Trump said will be rolled out on Wednesday, may add to the deficit.
  2. Trump says the stock market is a fair indicator of his performance. In an interview with Associated Press, Trump was asked if the stock market was a fair barometer of his success. “You live by the sword, you die by the sword, to a certain extent,” Trump told the AP.
  3. Albertsons is reportedly considering a takeover of Whole Foods. The grocery chain has approached bankers regarding a possible acquisition of Whole Foods, according to the Financial Times. The interest comes just two weeks after activist hedge fund Jana Partners revealed a 9% stake in Whole Foods and urged for changes at the high-end grocer.
  4. Netflix is raising another $US1 billion in debt. The streaming service announced it was adding the debt on Monday, saying the funding would be used for “general corporate purposes.” The company also reiterated its strong balance sheet and cash flow as reasons to take on debt.
  5. Hasbro beat on earnings. The toy maker posted earnings per share of $US0.43, higher than the $US0.38 per share expected by analysts.
  6. The stock market volatility index saw its largest daily drop since November 9. The VIX index, which measures the volatility of the S&P 500, dropped to 11.07 on Monday, the biggest drop since the day after the election.


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