U.S. Stocks Pare Losses on Solid Economic Data: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks pared losses in early trading after data showed a surprising rise in home sales and a pickup in business activity to start the year. Equities were under pressure as restrictions to curb escalating coronavirus cases dented some of the optimism over earnings and plans for additional stimulus.The S&P 500 Index cut losses in half after the IHS Markit data showed a pickup in manufacturing activity. Intel Corp. slumped after its new boss recommitted to chipmaking, a move opposed by some investors. The Stoxx Europe 600 index headed for its second straight weekly drop as a gauge of private-sector activity in the euro region fell deeper into contraction territory and Germany cut its forecast for economic growth. Yields on Treasuries and German bunds edged lower, and crude oil slid below $52 a barrel.The British pound weakened after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K.’s third lockdown could last into the summer, while disappointing economic data added to investors’ misgivings. Italian stocks underperformed and bond yields rose after reports Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is considering early elections.This week’s global equity rally, spurred by expectations of economic support and the rollout of vaccines, is pausing as traders weigh still-troubling Covid-19 trends. President Joe Biden, who is pushing for $1.9 trillion in additional spending, unveiled a strategy to combat the virus while warning the pandemic will worsen before it improves. Restrictions intensified from Germany and the U.K. to Hong Hong, and the European Central Bank cautioned that the euro area is headed for a double-dip recession.“Recent news flow on the pandemic has not been favorable,” said Jean-Francois Paren, global head of market research at Credit Agricole. “After the post-election wave of optimism from the U.S., markets have been left facing the reality of vaccine delivery and new lockdown measures, and the perspective of a double-dip in Europe.”Italy expects significant delays to its coronavirus vaccination program in the coming week due to a drop in vaccine deliveries from manufacturers. Germany said its vaccine shortages will last for the next six to eight weeks as coronavirus fatalities in the country passed 50,000, while the U.K. suffered its worst day in the pandemic.Elsewhere, Bitcoin fluctuated around $31,000 after earlier tumbling below that level, as the controversial boom in digital coins fizzles.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 lost 0.3% by 10:04 a.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.9%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.7%.The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 1%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.4%.The yen was at 103.79 per dollar, dipping 0.3%.The euro was little changed at $1.2158.The British pound weakened 0.6% to $1.3653.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped two basis points to 1.09%.Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to -0.52%.The U.K.’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 0.3%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude was at $51.59 a barrel, down 2.9%.Gold dropped 1.6% to $1,840.56 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.