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Dow Jones up 200 Points, Nasdaq Hits Record High on Results of French Election

U.S. equities got off to a roaring start on Monday as investors cheered the results of the first round in the French presidential election.
People stop to photograph the "Fearless Girl" statue on March 8 in New York. Installed by a Wall Street firm ahead of International Women's Day, the girl appears to stare down Lower Manhattan's well-known bronze charging bull.Mark Lennihan / AP
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Wall Street got off to a roaring start on Monday as investors cheered the results of the first round in the French presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 200 points at the open, with Goldman Sachs and Caterpillar contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 popped about 1 percent, with financials surging more than 1.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite hit a new all-time intraday high, rising more than 1 percent.

Early results from the French election showed Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen advancing to a presidential runoff. Far-right candidate Le Pen and centrist Macron were largely expected to pull ahead in the first round of the French contest. The two had led most of the polls leading up to the election.

"While I don't believe the U.S. stock market was worried whatsoever about the French election in terms of its pricing and recent action ... it's clear that we dodged a bullet with the high likelihood of a Macron Presidency," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, in a note.

European stock markets skyrocketed across the board, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index popping more than 2 percent. The French CAC 40 rose more than 4 percent to hit a nine-year high.

Related: Macron Must Win Big to Have a Chance at Fulfilling His Pledges

The euro also rose sharply against most major currencies. The common currency briefly broke above $1.09 against the U.S. dollar and last traded around 1.2 percent higher at $1.0856.

Macron "is the prohibitive favorite to win the presidency in two weeks, thereby leaving far too little time for his challenger to make up any significant ground," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. "Although the outcome hardly qualifies as a surprise, investors breathed a huge sigh of relief."

U.S. stock futures rose more than 1 percent in the premarket.

Anxiety Over Government Shutdown

That said, investors are also staring down the barrel of a potential government shutdown. Government funding will end Friday unless Congress can agree on at least a temporary funding resolution.

The last time the government shut down was Oct. 1 through 16, 2013. During that time, the S&P 500 rose about 1.6, but not without some volatility. The index moved more than 1 percent three times in that time period.

"There's a lot of anxiety over a government shutdown. One would hope we learned from the last time we went through this," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.

The possibility of a shutdown comes as President Donald Trump is about to conclude his first 100 days in office. On Friday, Trump promised to make an announcement about much-anticipated tax reform this week, but it was not immediately clear how much he would reveal or what form it would take.

Expectations of tax reform have been one of the pillars of the stock market's postelection.