Stocks, Futures Up After U.S. Record; Bonds Steady: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Stocks climbed Friday with U.S. and European futures, following Wall Street higher on signs of a healing labor market and improving coronavirus trends. Treasuries were steady after a widely watched segment of the yield curve steepened to levels last seen in 2015.

Japan and South Korea were among markets leading Asian gains. S&P 500 futures ticked higher after the benchmark closed up more than 1% at a record, led by banks and tech shares, while the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies climbed 2%. Earnings remained in focus with EBay Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. surging on upbeat forecasts. The dollar held an overnight gain. Crude oil advanced and gold steadied after Thursday’s decline.

In Hong Kong, short-video startup Kuaishou Technology surged more than 190% on its debut after one of the city’s biggest initial-public offerings in years.

chart: U.S. yield curve steepest since 2015 as reflation bets mount

© Bloomberg
U.S. yield curve steepest since 2015 as reflation bets mount

Global equities are flirting with all-time highs as corporate profits rebound and central banks remain supportive amid the pandemic. U.S. President Joe Biden’s push to fast-track a $1.9 trillion stimulus package has also boosted sentiment. A report Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest since November, and investor focus now turns to payroll data Friday.


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“The economic data is coming in very strong,” Andrew Slimmon, fund manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “The market is going to struggle at some point this year, but at the moment it’s too early because the numbers are still coming through.”

On the virus front, restrictions are lifting around the U.S. as the outbreak eases. The Bank of England forecast that the U.K. economy is heading for a powerful rebound thanks to an aggressive push to vaccinate citizens. France said a new lockdown is not justified at the moment.

Elsewhere, Robinhood Markets Inc. removed limits on buying shares of GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. — stocks at the center of the battle between Reddit-empowered retail traders and short-sellers.

There are the main moves in markets:


S&P 500 futures added 0.3% as of 6:18 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% on Thursday.Japan’s Topix Index rose 1.4%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9%.South Korea’s Kospi Index added 1.1%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.1%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures climbed 0.5%.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.14%.Australia’s 10-year yield slipped four basis points to 1.19%.


The yen was little changed at 105.54 per dollar.The offshore yuan slipped 0.1% to 6.4793 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady.The euro was at $1.1962.


West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.7% to $56.64 a barrel.Gold was at $1,797.38 an ounce, up 0.2%.

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