U.S. Equity Markets rose to the highest in a week as investors sifted through the latest company earnings and poor labour data. Yields on Treasuries tumbled. The S&P 500 rallied 1.15% with speculation mounting that the worst of the economic damage has passed as more of the country reopens. Filings for Unemployment continued at historically high levels, but fell from the prior week. News that top U.S. and Chinese negotiators spoke overnight helped boost sentiment. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite turned positive for the year, wiping out losses that reached as much as 24% at the depths of the pandemic-fuelled sell-off. The Bond market delivered a different take on the economy’s future. Two-year yields plunged to a record low and 10-year rates fell toward 0.6%. Banks stocks defied the move, with financial firms in the S&P 500 rising more than 2% to halt a five-day slide. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained as most National Gauges and industry sectors climbed. Crude oil declined after reaching $26 a barrel in New York. The Pound swung between losses and gains after the Bank of England kept its policy settings unchanged and signalled it may expand monetary stimulus as soon as next month. Risk assets rebounded swiftly in April following a dramatic sell-off in the first quarter, but stocks have struggled for direction this month as bulls and bears duel over the outlook. Optimists point to efforts to reopen economies, a slowing rate of new infections and unprecedented stimulus. Pessimists fret over the mounting economic toll, with Payrolls data from the largest economy this afternoon expected to be dire. Asian equities rose Friday along with U.S. and European Futures as investors continue to weigh moves to reopen economies and moves on trade negotiations between the U.S. and China against data illustrating the enormous damage wreaked by the Coronavirus. S&P 500 Futures hit their session highs after reports that China and the U.S. had a constructive phone call on trade.
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