S&P 500 like jobs number
U.S. equity-index futures rose and Treasuries declined after jobless claims dropped more than forecast. European stocks fell as Germany’s inflation rate turned negative for the first time in more than five years.
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.4 percent at 8:36 a.m. in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2 percent, trimming its best start to a year since 1989. Banks led gains in Greek shares as the government moved to contain the fallout from pledges made by its ministers. The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 1.76 percent. The Australian dollar and Turkish lira fell amid speculation of more easing in monetary policy. Gold dropped 1.1 percent to $1,270.90 an ounce. Crude oil fluctuated near the lowest level in almost six years.
The fewest Americans in almost 15 years filed applications for unemployment benefits, Labor Department data showed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday capped its worst two-day slump in almost a year amid falling energy shares, while the Federal Reserve said its considering when to raise benchmark borrowing costs. Stocks declined in Europe after prices in the region’s largest economy fell 0.5 percent in January from a year earlier, the lowest rate since September 2009, according to the statistics office data.
“We remain overweight equities,” said Gunther Westen, who helps oversee about $28 billion as head of asset allocation and fund management at Meriten Investment Management GmbH in Dusseldorf, Germany. “So far earnings have been mixed. Markets have been focused on the problems related to lower oil, but we expect to see the positive impact soon and are quite confident that we’ll see that push equity prices further.”
Jobless claims plunged by 43,000 to 265,000 in the week ended Jan. 24, the lowest since April 2000. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 300,000.
Visa Inc. and Google Inc. are among S&P 500 companies reporting earnings. About 77 percent of the gauge’s 158 companies that have posted earnings this season have beaten analyst estimates, while 56 percent have topped sales projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Dow Chemical Co. gained 3.6 percent in early New York trading after earnings beat analyst forecasts.
Qualcomm Inc. dropped 7.8 percent after the biggest maker of mobile-phone chips cut its 2015 forecast for revenue and profit. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. fell 7 percent after revenue missed estimates.
The S&P 500 fell 2.7 percent in two days, leaving it down 2.8 percent this month.
Three shares advanced for every two that declined in the Stoxx 600, with trading volumes 48 percent higher than the 30- day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The gauge has climbed 7 percent this month.