Asian markets jumped following news of a deal for a 50% haircut on Greece's debt. The Nikkei gained 2% to 8927, the Kospi advanced 1.5%, and the ASX 200 rallied 2.5% hitting its highest close in 3 months. In China, the Hang Seng rose 3.3% to 19689, led by railways, and the Shanghai Composite edged up .3%.
European markets soared, led by banks which rocketed up 9%. The CAC40 jumped 6.3%, the DAX jumped 5.4%, and the FTSE rallied 2.9%. In France, the 3 leading banks, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Pariba,s all posted gains greater than 20%.
The upbeat sentiment continued in the US, sending the indexes sharply higher. The Dow gained 340 points to 11209, the Nasdaq climbed 3.3%, and the S&P 500 jumped 3.4%. The VIX tumbled 14.7% to 25.46 as investor anxiety eased. Here too, financials were the outsized gainers.
Stocks Soar on Greek Debt Deal
[Related -Upbeat Forecasts For US Housing Sales In March]
Dow Chemical shares jumped 8.2% even though the company reported earnings which were slightly shy of expectations. Visa gained 2.6% after reporting profits that were in line with estimates.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds tumbled as investors poured into riskier assets. 10 year notes fell 1 21/32 to yield 2.4% and 30-year notes sank 4 21/32 to yield 3.46%.
[Related -Happy Birthday, Moore's Law - Pearls of Wisdom for Investors]
A $29 billion auction of 7-year notes had a high yield of 1.791 percent and a weak bid-to-cover ratio of 2.59.
Commodities rallied across the board. In energy, crude oil soared 4.1% to 93.91, gasoline advanced 3.3% to 2.7391 and natural gas edged up .4%.
Copper once again led metals higher, rocketing 6.1% higher to close at 3.703. Silver jumped 5.4% to 35.105, and gold gained 1.3% to 1746.30.
The dollar plunged as the market return to risk-on mode. The Australian Dollar was the biggest gainer, soaring 3.1% to 1.0722. The Swiss Franc rallied 2.4% to 1.1628, and the Euro advanced 2.1% to 1.4188. The Yen once again touched a new record high, tagging 75.67, before pulling back to 75.97, up .4%. The Canadian Dollar broke back through the parity level, climbing 1.4% to .9911.
GDP rose at an annual rate of 2.5%, slightly better than forecast, and a marked improvement from last quarter's 1.3% gain.
Weekly jobless claims came in at 402K, slightly better than last week, but a bit weaker than forecast. Pending home sales unexpectedly declined by 4.6%, a large increase from last month's 1.2% drop.
Friday's reports will include personal income, personal spending, consumer sentiment, and the employment cost index.
Earnings are scheduled for Arch Coal, Cablevision, Chevron, Cigna, Merck and Whirlpool.