NORTH AMERICAN MARKETS (SPTSX:IND)
U.S. stocks fluctuated ahead of major earnings reports while Europe’s equity benchmark advanced on merger news. The dollar slipped.
Big tech names were the best performers on the S&P 500 Index, with the wider market weighed down by worries about new coronavirus variants and hurdles to a fresh aid package as President Joe Biden said he’s open to negotiating his US$1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal. Small-caps outperformed and GameStop Corp. extended its surge as day traders continued to pile into the heavily shorted retailer.
European stock markets were almost uniformly green. Naturgy Energy Group SA soared as much as 18 per cent as asset manager IFM Global Infrastructure offered to buy a stake in the Spanish utility. Sweden’s EQT AB, one of Europe’s biggest private equity firms, jumped 22 per cent after agreeing to take over Exeter Property Group in a US$1.9 billion deal.
Global stocks are trading near record highs as U.S. corporate earnings season gears up this week, with traders also keeping a eye on developments related to the pandemic and its spread. Vaccine coverage won’t reach a point that would stop transmission of the virus in the foreseeable future, the World Health Organization said.
“We have to pay attention to some of these micro issues, but not let that throw us off the trail,” Eric Freedman, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “We could see a derail that happens for changes in positioning, but until it does, we will stay invested in growth assets, and that has benefited us thus far.”
Elsewhere, Treasury yields edged higher. Bitcoin retreated below US$32,000. In Asia, stocks markets took a dive after China’s central bank withdrew cash from the banking system and an official cautioned about asset bubbles. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index sank the most in two months and internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. lost 6.3 per cent.
These are the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 per cent as of 11:04 a.m. New York time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.7 per cent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.3 per cent.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 1.5 per cent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3 per cent.
The euro rose 0.3 per cent to US$1.217.
The British pound climbed 0.4 per cent to US$1.3733.
The Japanese yen rose 0.1 per cent to 103.64 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 1.04 per cent.
Germany’s 10-year yield added two basis points to -0.53 per cent.
Britain’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.27 per cent.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4 per cent to US$52.54 per barrel.
Gold fel 0.2 per cent to US$1,852.83 an ounce.