Stocks edge higher on robust U.S. results, rate hopes; oil pares losses
By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks edged higher on Tuesday, lifted by strong earnings from big U.S. drugmakers Merck and Pfizer and expectations of another dose of policy stimulus from the U.S
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks edged higher on Tuesday, lifted by strong earnings from big U.S. drugmakers Merck and Pfizer and expectations of another dose of policy stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve, while oil prices pared earlier losses.
European shares slid as they headed towards their worst quarterly earnings in more than three years, according to the latest estimates by Refinitiv, underscoring concerns about the deteriorating health of Europe Inc.
The benchmark U.S. S&P 500 index eked out a fresh record high, led by Merck and Pfizer, though a disappointing profit report from Google parent Alphabet kept the technology-rich Nasdaq in the red.
The index breached its all-time high set in July on Monday, spurred by hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal and expectations of another Fed rate cut.
The steepening of the two- and 10-year yield curve suggests a budding risk-on sentiment among investors, now that some form of a U.S.-Sino trade agreement is likely, said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at INTL FCStone Financial in New York.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of a trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.
The spread in the yield curve
A rotation into value stocks that investors have posited for months seems be taking hold, Abbasi said, pointing to recent gains in the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF
"We're seeing some of those high-flying tech names struggle," Abbasi said. "We're getting that risk-on move from sectors that have been ignored all year, the sectors that haven't been loved."
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.12%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> lost 0.37%. MSCI's emerging markets index <.MSCIEF> was off a scant 0.03%.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 5.13 points, or 0.02%, to 27,095.85 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 3.82 points, or 0.13%, to 3,043.24. But the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 30.59 points, or 0.37%, to 8,295.40.
Oil pared losses amid rising U.S. equities and hopes of easing U.S.-China trade tensions.
Graphic: World forex rates in 2019 - http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> fell 0.34% as uncertainty over a looming general election compounded a 4.0% drop in shares of BP
The losses in Europe followed a mixed performance in Asia, where Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.4% to reach levels last seen a year ago. Shanghai blue chips <.CSI300> dithered either side of flat.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. notes
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.