Investors around the world cheered the French presidential election results. The hope is that the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron will have no problem defeating the anti-EU challenger Marine Le Pen in a runoff election on May 7.
Stocks soared in Europe and were set to pop in the United States as well. The Dow rose nearly 200 points after the opening bell, a gain of about 1%.
Many market observers had worried that Le Pen, much like U.S. President Donald Trump, could wind up defying the odds and win in France.
There were also fears that far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon could pull of an upset and that the final presidential race would be between him (not Macron) and Le Pen.
And even though Le Pen is moving on to the runoff election, she still faces a big uphill climb since she is far behind Macron in the polls in a head-to-head race. Other candidates in France who lost this weekend have also quickly moved to back Macron.
“The French elections gave the markets a sigh of relief,” wrote Chuck Butler, managing director with EverBank Global Markets in a report Monday morning. “A lot of the risks that were associated with the French election have been put on the back burner.”
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