(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose the most since March as strong earnings outflanked concerns about trade spurred by Trump administration officials, whose comments helped push the dollar to its worst week in eight months.
The S&P 500 Index gained for a fourth week as corporate profits continued to beat estimates at a heady clip, with the latest earnings from pharmaceutical and technology companies boosting shares. The greenback fell to a three-year low, wiping out the surge from President Donald Trump’s support of a strong currency on Thursday, which followed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s endorsement of a weak dollar a day earlier. Ten-year U.S. bond yields headed toward the highest level in more than three years. Oil traded at $66 a barrel.
“Equities are in a unique situation right now, I feel like there’s a trifecta going on in terms of strength,” Mona Mahajan, U.S. investment strategist for Allianz Global Investors, said by phone. “We’re getting strength from the economy, we’re getting strength from earnings...and yields, while they’ve moved up, they’re not at those 3 percent plus levels where we could see a potential bear market.”
Elsewhere, the yen rose to the strongest since September versus the dollar after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda commented on inflation. It later pared the gain when a BOJ spokesperson clarified what was said.
Trump and his officials roiled markets this week with protectionist rhetoric and conflicting positions on the greenback. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made an unusual endorsement of a weak dollar, prompting a veiled scolding from the European Central Bank. Trump then countermanded his cabinet member by supporting a strong greenback. Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stoked trade tensions by hinting at tariffs, injecting volatility into the global risk-on rally that has padded records across asset classes.
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These are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index rose 1.2 percent to 2,872.80 as of 4 p.m. New York time.
- The Nasdaq 100 Stock Index advanced 1.5 percent.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5 percent.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.7 percent.
- Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.3 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.3 percent, touching the lowest in more than three years.
- The euro advanced 0.2 percent to $1.2426, the strongest in more than three years.
- The British pound climbed 0.3 percent to $1.4185.
- The Japanese yen increased 0.7 percent to 108.67 per dollar, the strongest since September.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis points to 2.65 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield gained two basis points to 0.63 percent, the highest in about two years.
- Britain’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to 1.444 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.0 percent to $66.14 a barrel, the highest in more than two years.
- Gold advanced 0.2 percent to $1,350.26 an ounce.
- Copper fell 0.6 percent to $3.19 a pound.
--With assistance from Samuel Potter Randall Jensen Kailey Leinz Robert Brand and Sarah Ponczek
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