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These Dow stocks may be the big winners from the French election

John Melloy

The French presidential election win by centrist Emmanual Macron should give a boost to certain U.S. stocks and exchange-traded funds with a reliable history of trading higher with the euro.

The euro hit $1.10 against the dollar in early trading, a six-month high with the defeat of Marine Le Pen dealing a big blow against the populist movement sweeping Europe that threatened to possibly break up the currency. The currency declined slightly as trading continued in a bout of profit taking on the news.

If the currency keeps going higher the rest of May, Dow Jones industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) members that do a lot of business in Europe like Visa (NYSE:V) and McDonald's (MCD) may lead gains for U.S. stocks this month, history shows.

There have been 66 times in the last decade when the euro increased by 1 percent in a month's time against the dollar, according to CNBC analysis using hedge fund analytics tool Kensho.

These Dow stocks are the best performers, on average, during those periods:

Visa (NYSE:V), whose earnings just got a boost last quarter from its acquisition of Visa Europe completed last year, tops the list. Apple (AAPL), Caterpillar (CAT), Nike (NKE) and McDonald's (MCD) round out the top 5 best Dow stocks during a rising euro.

If the euro keeps increasing this month, exchange-traded funds tied to stock markets in other European countries like Spain and Italy should do especially well alongside France-focused fund, history shows. Emerging market stocks also typically trade higher as the falling dollar versus the euro signifies the return of a risk-taking atmosphere around the globe.

These ETFs were the best performers, on average, among highly-liquid U.S. funds during those periods:

The iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NYSE Arca: EWP), which tracks large and mid-sized companies in Spain and is up more than 26 percent year-to-date, jumps nearly 4 percent during months of euro gains. The SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF, (FE) tracking the largest publicly-traded companies in the EU, is not too far behind. The final three top performers are the iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF (NYSE Arca: EWI), the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSE Arca: EWZ), and the iShares MSCI France ETF (NYSE Arca: EWQ).

— CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.



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