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U.S. Stocks Weather Late Swoon to Finish Higher: Markets Wrap

Vildana Hajric and Claire Ballentine
U.S. Stocks Weather Late Swoon to Finish Higher: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks closed higher despite a late-day swoon as optimism that more economies are moving toward easing their coronavirus lockdowns outweighed cautionary comments from Federal Reserve officials. Oil surged.

The S&P 500 rose for a second day, led by gains in health care, utilities and information technology companies. The benchmark index’s gain of almost 2% was cut in half in the last hour of trading after Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida warned the economy will need more government support. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the central bank’s efforts are “very much an experiment.” President Donald Trump continued to blame China for the global pandemic, stoking fears the trade war will reignite.

“There was a lot of cold water from Clarida on economic data,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director and market strategist at Robert W Baird & Co. “Technicals are really important right now. As we approach the end of the day there was that failure of breaking through those key resistance levels.”

Oil posted its longest run of daily gains in more than nine months as production cuts start to whittle down a supply glut. Futures in New York rose for a fifth day, gaining more than 20%.

European stocks gained. The euro fell as investors scrutinized a verdict from Germany’s top judges over the legality of European Central Bank stimulus. They ruled that some actions taken by the country’s Bundesbank to participate in the asset purchase program were unconstitutional. Markets were closed in Japan, China and South Korea.

Here are some key events coming up:

The Bank of England has a policy decision on Thursday.Friday brings the U.S. jobs report for April, expected to show a severe impact from the pandemic. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists calls for a 21 million plunge in payrolls.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

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