U.S. stocks returned to rally mode Monday with the S&P 500 finishing at an all time high as the election of an Italian leader comforted markets. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the NASDAQ 0.85%.
- Pending home sales jumped 1.5% in March versus the expected 0.1% gain.
Crude oil finished flat, gold gained 0.95% to $1467.40 and silver jumped 1.5% to $24.12.
British stocks gained 0.5%, German stocks 0.75%, and French stocks 1.5%.
- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and his new cabinet were sworn in over the weekend following two months of political gridlock. The formation of the Italian administration ends a stalemate that followed inconclusive elections in February. Italian markets gained 2.2%. The yield on the 10-year Italian bond fell 0.15 percentage point to 3.91%, close to November 2010 lows.
- The European Commission's business-climate indicator, a measure of confidence, fell to -0.93 in April from -0.75 in March, marking the lowest level since November.
- Germany's annual inflation rate eased for the fourth straight month in April to its lowest level since September 2010. Inflation declined to 1.1%, a level well below the ECB's target of just below 2.0% over the medium term.
Japan and Chinese markets were closed for holiday.