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New Zealand leads market recovery

Stocks in the country have surged after prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that it has halted the spread of COVID-19. Elsewhere in the world, major US indices were up, albeit only just, as protests over racism and police brutality continue unabated. Stocks in Asia were higher at the start of the week, while European stocks slipped lower Monday.

Other Top Stories:

1. Emerging markets rally rumbles on. JPMorgan’s measure for volatility in emerging market currencies registered its largest weekly drop last week and stocks enjoyed the best week since 2011, Bloomberg reports. According to the publication, positive momentum in these markets makes it hard to see what could derail the emerging markets rally as investors look to the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates, expected Wednesday.

2.Disney hopes for slam dunk. After losing a great deal of its share price value during the coronavirus pandemic, Disney investors will be keen to see if Disney’s sports segment will bring a surge. After months of sporting events restrictions and closures of venues – which coincided with a 58% drop in the firm’s operating income for its Parks, Experiences and Products segment – sport could bring long-awaited respite, with the NBA set to resume its season in July.

3. Investigation excites short sellers. German payment processer Wirecard had its offices raided Friday, following complaints of potentially misleading statements. The country’s financial watchdog BaFin has opened criminal investigations into CEO Markus Braun and three other executives. The stock has come under intense short interest, with famed short seller Fahmi Quadir reportedly taking a significant short position on the stock.

4. Will investors keep on biting? Apple reached an all-time high of $331.75 last week, showing resilience in the face of markets shattered recently by the coronavirus pandemic. However, investors may become wary, as issues with already declining sales in the first quarter could be compounded by supply issues in the coming months.

5. Investors love tech. Spurred by confidence from tech-loving investors and signals of a potential economic recovery from positive employment figures, the Nasdaq Composite smashed its intraday record last Friday, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tech-heavy index closed up 0.15% yesterday, beating its all-time high of $9,817.18 achieved in February.

6. AstraZeneca eyes up Gilead. The Pharmaceutical giant has reportedly approached biotech firm Gilead over a possible merger, Reuters reports. The deal, if it were to happen, would unite the drugmakers both of which are engaged in a race to release a COVID-19 vaccine. Shares in AstraZeneca dropped around 2% in pre-market trading yesterday, while Gilead’s stock climbed by more than 5%.

7. Jobs figures support market in “ray of light” theory. The recent wave of positive employment data from the US is evidence against the idea that markets and the economy are disconnected, Ed Yardeni told CNBC. The president of Yardeni Research, a noted bull, thinks that the economy may be catching up with the stock markets rather than the two being disconnected.

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