Global stocks ticked higher Thursday as investors shifted focus to corporate earnings for cues on the health of the economy after an initial U.S.-China trade deal was sealed.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2%, a day after the gauge finished above 29000 for the first time. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index was mostly flat, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended the day down 0.5%.
The first week of the U.S. corporate earnings season is set to continue with Morgan Stanley and PPG Industries PPG 0.62% poised to report later in the day. Financial stocks slumped on Wednesday as the latest round of big bank earnings largely disappointed, and retailer Target also fell after its sales of toys and electronics during the holiday season disappointed Wall Street.
Investors are now angling their expectations for interest rates to remain low globally, and potentially come down further in some markets, according to Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.
“A large part of the equity market right now has their weight in growth stocks” such as technology, Mr. Garney said. “The more interest rates go down, the more these stocks will go up.”
Among European equities, Pearson was the biggest loser. The stock fell over 10% in London after the education company reported that operating profit for this year is expected to remain near the bottom of the guidance, according to Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The U.S. Commerce Department will also provide fresh figures indicating how retailers fared during the holiday shopping season with December sales numbers. Monthly retail-sales data can be volatile, but the broader trend suggests momentum is slowing.
Write to Caitlin Ostroff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8