US stocks finish higher as banks, industrials rise.
Wall Street rebounded sharply on Thursday, led by shares of financial and industrial companies, as upbeat earnings offset geopolitical risks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARC:DIA) surged 174.22 points, or 0.9%, to 20,578.71. Twenty-six of 30 Dow blue chips recorded gains.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 0.8% to 2,355.84, with seven of 11 sectors finishing in the black.
Financials stocks surged 1.6%. Shares of industrials companies added 1.1%. Materials also rose 1.1% as a sector.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) finished 1% higher at 5,920.25.
The buying frenzy pushed implied volatility sharply lower on Thursday. The CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) fell 5.2% to 14.15. The so-called “fear index” has risen sharply this month, potentially signaling the return of volatility.
Wall Street followed European markets higher on Thursday, although gains in London and Frankfurt were much more tepid. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index edged up 0.1%. Germany’s DAX also finished 0.1% higher.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.2% for its second consecutive advance.
In commodities, oil prices failed to hold gains on Thursday, as oversupply concerns continued to weigh on investor sentiment. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for US crude futures fell 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $50.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Final Word: Investors are keeping a close eye on a series of European elections and tensions concerning North Korea and Syria. These geopolitical hot spots could provide strong headwinds in the coming weeks as markets assess the fallout from the first round of French elections.