Wall Street: As was the case with Asian and European stocks, U.S. equity markets had a strong day on Monday as traders were encouraged by economic reports that may signal the global recession is nearing an end. Stocks moved much higher despite General Motors filing bankruptcy today. Chrysler has been cleared to sell most of its assets to Fiat and is close to exiting bankruptcy. Retail stocks, led by Macy’s and JC Penney gained as did tech stocks which were led by Intel, Dell and Microsoft. On the day, the DOW gained 221.11 points to close on 8721.44. The S&P gained 23.73 points closing on 942.87 and the NASDAQ gained 54.35 points to close on 1828.68.
Europe: European shares soared on Monday led by energy stocks and miners. The markets’ upward movement started after Chinese data revealed that PMI recorded its third straight month above the 50 level in May and intensified after U.S. data showed the manufacturing sector contracted at a slower pace. Energy shares were led higher by Total, BP and Royal Dutch Shell. On the day the German Dax gained 202 points, the CAC 40 gained 102 points and the U.K.’s FTSE added 88 points.
Asia: Asian markets moved higher on Monday on the strength of Chinese manufacturing activity which boosted optimism that the economy is recovering. The Nikkei gained 1.6% to almost an eight month high as shippers and resource shares climbed on the prospects of a Chinese recovery. Australian stocks gained 2% on global economic data that supported a brighter outlook for commodities. On the day, Japan’s Nikkei gained 155 points while the Hang Seng gained 718 points.
Financial Sector: In trade on Monday the XLF, the financial sector ETF, gained 0.13 points (1.06%) to trade at 12.36. It moved higher on strong volume; 183.9m ETF's changed hands, above the ten day average of 173.3m. Equity markets closed much higher on Monday, with the DOW gaining more than 200 points and the S&P adding 24 points.
Treasuries: Yields on ten year Treasuries soared on Monday, gaining the most in eight months as stocks rose on optimism the recession is slowing. Investors sold Treasuries as a hedge against inflation. Yields on the ten year Treasuries rose 25 basis points to 3.72% and have risen more than 168 basis points since dropping to 2.03 last year.
Crude oil: Oil prices continued to rise on Monday, gaining more than 3%, and settling above $68 a barrel as positive global economic news spurred expectations of a global economic recovery. Oil prices were also boosted as the dollar continued its decline against the euro. Crude oil closed the day at $68.44 a barrel.
Gold Bullion: Gold prices slipped a little on Friday even though the dollar dropped against all of the other major currencies. Bullion dropped $4.20 an ounce to close just above $976 an ounce. Gold prices have risen sharply lately, despite today’s drop and look set to challenge the $1000 an ounce level especially if the dollar continues its steep decline.