Wall Street dips before French election, but up for week

Wall StreetWall Street

US stocks dipped on Friday as investors were cautious ahead of the first round of the closely contested French presidential election, but the S&P 500 managed to notch its first weekly gain in three. The first round of France’s presidential election may be too close to call when polls close on Sunday because initial projections will not be available as early as in the past, pollsters and their watchdog said. Most polls see centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen qualifying on Sunday for a May 7 runoff, but conservative Francois Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon are not far behind and within the margin of error. “Nobody is taking anything for granted after the big swing and miss in Britain and the big swing and a miss here,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. “I don’t think anyone wants to stick their neck out for this one.”

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 92 new highs and 39 new lows. About 6.40 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, slightly above the 6.31 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

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