Wall Street Drifts, Yields Jump and Paris Stocks Soar as Elections Drive Markets

Wall Street Drifts, Yields Jump and Paris Stocks Soar as Elections Drive Markets

U.S. stocks drifted to a mixed close, and yields jumped as elections drive swings in financial markets worldwide

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks drifted to a mixed finish Monday, and yields jumped in the bond market as elections continue to drive swings in financial markets worldwide.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to kick off a shortened, four-day week that includes the Fourth of July holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up by 50 points, or 0.1%, and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.8%.

Some of the world’s strongest action was across the Atlantic, where the CAC 40 index in Paris jumped as much as 2.8% before settling to a gain of 1.1%. Results from France suggested a far-right political party may not win a decisive majority in the country’s legislative elections. That bolstered hopes for potential gridlock in the French government, which would prevent a worst-case scenario where a far-right with a clear majority could push policies that would greatly increase the French government’s debt.

This is a big year for elections worldwide, with voters heading to the polls in the United Kingdom later this week and soon elsewhere. In the United States, pollsters are measuring the fallout from last week’s debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. It all underscores “political polarisation and how elections are determining economics, rather than vice versa,” according to Nick Gentle and other members of the product management group at Barclays.

Trump Media & Technology Group, whose stock has been rising and falling with Trump’s White House chances, climbed 1% to $33.08. Shares of the company behind Trump’s Truth Social platform, though, are still well below their perch of roughly $70 reached earlier this year.

The bond market was home to some of U.S. markets’ strongest action. Treasury yields jumped again, as they did Friday immediately following the Biden-Trump debate. Increased prospects for a Republican sweep in November sent traders back to moves from 2016, according to strategists at Morgan Stanley. Besides pushing rates higher, traders also piled into stocks of oil-and-gas and financial companies.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 4.46% from 4.39% late Friday and from 4.29% late Thursday. It’s a reversal of the general trend since the spring, when the 10-year Treasury yield had topped 4.70% in late April.

Yields had been largely easing on hopes inflation will slow enough to convince the Federal Reserve to cut its main interest rate later this year, down from the highest level in more than two decades. High rates have been grinding on the U.S. economy by making it more expensive to borrow money for a house, car or anything else.

Hopes for rate cuts held after a report on Monday showed U.S. manufacturing weakened last month by more than economists expected. Perhaps even more importantly for Wall Street, the report from the Institute for Supply Management also said price increases are decelerating. Taken together, the data could offer more of the evidence that the Federal Reserve wants to see of lessening pressure on inflation before it will cut rates.

This week’s economic highlight will likely arrive Friday, when the U.S. government will say how many workers employers hired during June. Economists predict overall hiring slowed to 190,000 from May’s 272,000. That would get the number closer to what Bank of America calls the “Goldilocks” figure of roughly 150,000, give or take 25,000.

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