US Stocks Near Records, Canadian Dollar Weakens

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U.S. stocks rose toward records amid corporate results and the promise of Trump administration tax reform, while a fresh American tariff on Canadian lumber sent the loonie and Mexican peso lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more then 200 points as Caterpillar surged 8 percent and McDonald’s rose 5 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index topped 6,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 index closed near a record. Stocks in Europe rose to a 20-month high as risk appetite fueled by the outcome of France’s election continued. The yen fell with Treasuries and gold. The Canadian dollar tumbled after Donald Trump slapped a 24 percent tariff on imported softwood lumber.

Investor focus shifted to the U.S. economy where corporate earnings and data on housing starts underpinned speculation that growth is poised to accelerate a day before Trump is expected to unveil a tax plan that would cut the upper corporate rate to 15 percent. Trump’s decision to impose a fresh tariff rekindled protectionist concern, while shares in Europe rose as political risk abated, though tensions around North Korea continued to simmer.

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