These Dow stocks may be the big winners from the French election

Key Points
  • The euro may gain as the Macron win eases the populist threat to the currency.
  • Visa and McDonald's both showed strong gains, on average, among Dow members when the euro increased against the dollar, history shows.
  • iShares ETFs focused on equities in France, Spain and Italy should also rally if the euro goes into an uptrend.
Visa and Apple shares could see gains if the euro continues to rise

The French presidential election win by centrist Emmanual Macron should give a boost to certain U.S. stocks and exchange-traded funds with a reliable history of trading higher with the euro.

The euro hit $1.10 against the dollar in early trading, a six-month high with the defeat of Marine Le Pen dealing a big blow against the populist movement sweeping Europe that threatened to possibly break up the currency. The currency declined slightly as trading continued in a bout of profit taking on the news.

If the currency keeps going higher the rest of May, Dow Jones industrial average members that do a lot of business in Europe like Visa and McDonald's may lead gains for U.S. stocks this month, history shows.

There have been 66 times in the last decade when the euro increased by 1 percent in a month's time against the dollar, according to CNBC analysis using hedge fund analytics tool Kensho.

These Dow stocks are the best performers, on average, during those periods:

Visa, whose earnings just got a boost last quarter from its acquisition of Visa Europe completed last year, tops the list. Apple, Caterpillar, Nike and McDonald's round out the top 5 best Dow stocks during a rising euro.

If the euro keeps increasing this month, exchange-traded funds tied to stock markets in other European countries like Spain and Italy should do especially well alongside France-focused fund, history shows. Emerging market stocks also typically trade higher as the falling dollar versus the euro signifies the return of a risk-taking atmosphere around the globe.

These ETFs were the best performers, on average, among highly-liquid U.S. funds during those periods:

The iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF, which tracks large and mid-sized companies in Spain and is up more than 26 percent year-to-date, jumps nearly 4 percent during months of euro gains. The SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF, tracking the largest publicly-traded companies in the EU, is not too far behind. The final three top performers are the iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF, and the iShares MSCI France ETF.

— CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.