Equity markets finished broadly higher to start the week following last Friday’s strong U.S. jobs report. 

Many global markets were closed for Easter Monday, including most European markets, China and Australia. 

The volatility index fell today to its lowest level in more than a year, as the S&P 500 rallied to another record high. 

The consumer discretionary sector led the gains, while energy lagged after OPEC and its allies decided to boost production, pressuring oil prices. 

Treasuries were little changed after yields saw upward pressure Friday.

Stocks reacted positively to a strong reading for U.S. service-sector activity and the better-than-expected March employment report was released Friday when equity markets were closed. 

The U.S economy added 916,000 jobs, the most in seven months and well above the 660,000 expected. 

The unemployment rate fell to 6 percent, from 6.2 percent, while the underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want a full-time job, continued to improve, declining to 10.7 percent from 11.1 percent. 

The job creation was broad-based, with strength in leisure and hospitality employment, which increased by 280,000. 

Employment is still more than eight million below its pre-pandemic peak from just over a year ago, but the outlook remains positive as the lifting of restrictions is boosting economic activity.

The expected acceleration in the economic reopening and ongoing fiscal stimulus are two prevalent factors that will be driving the market narrative in the coming months. 

More than four million people were vaccinated Saturday in the U.S., with now more than 30 percent of the population having received at least one dose. 

The faster-than-expected vaccine rollout is feeding through to stronger economic activity, with many high-frequency indicators, like credit card spending, air travel, dining out and gas demand improving meaningfully. 

At the same time sizable fiscal stimulus continues to support the economy. 

President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure proposal unveiled last week will likely undergo significant revisions as the negotiation process plays out in Washington. 

If well executed, the administration’s plan has the potential to boost long-term economic growth, but the corporate tax hikes proposed could be a source of near-term anxiety for the markets. .

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