Global Stocks Pause After Accelerating on Factory Data

Date : 02/04/2019 @ 14h38
Source : Dow Jones News
Valeur : Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA)
Cours : 54.59  -0.71 (-1.28%) @ 00h47
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Global Stocks Pause After Accelerating on Factory Data

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)
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By David Hodari 

U.S. stocks were poised to open flat Tuesday as investors took a breath after sharp gains on the first day of 2019's second quarter.

Indexes around the world jumped Monday after gauges of manufacturing activity in both the U.S. and China stabilized from earlier slowdowns.

But the flurry of early-week buying slowed to a crawl on Tuesday, with futures putting the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq-100 all on course for flat opens. Shallow, broad-based gains were balanced by a 6.5% premarket drop for Walgreens Boots Alliance after the drugstore chain cut earnings expectations and said it faced its most difficult quarter since the merger of Alliance Boots and Walgreens.

Economic data releases will likely remain in focus this week, with U.S. durable goods orders expected Tuesday and U.S. nonfarm payroll data due Friday. European producer-price index numbers, released earlier in the day, slightly undershot market expectations.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys last ticked down to 2.471% after leaping to 2.496% late Monday, while the WSJ Dollar Index climbed 0.2%, extending its five-day gains to 0.7%.

Indexes in other regions also notched gentle gains, with Asian indexes ticking higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 was flat, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1% and the South Korean Kospi rose 0.4% as it shrugged off weaker-than-expected inflation data. Europe's pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.3% in afternoon trading, after staging its largest one-day gain since February on Monday.

A strong start to 2019's second quarter came Monday, amid a combination of stabilizing U.S. and Chinese economic data, more accommodative central bank policy and cautious optimism that the U.S. and China are moving toward completing a trade deal, according to Sunitha Thomas, portfolio adviser at Northern Trust Wealth Management.

Economic readings from major European economies disappointed in the first three months of 2019, so Chinese releases "have a knock-on effect around the world, and if China can have more positive numbers going into the second half of the year, that could be positive for export-focused countries like Germany," Ms. Thomas said.

"The cadence of negotiations appears to be improving" between the U.S. and China, Ms. Thomas said, though markets will also be looking to the European Union in the coming weeks as leaders of the bloc are expected to engage in their own trade negotiations with the Trump administration.

But some investors believe the market has absorbed the Federal Reserve's softening forward guidance, and believe anything more than a gentle rebound in growth signals could bring the risk of tighter policy.

"Fund managers have had a very good first quarter and I think it'll take a very optimistic manager to say the next quarter will be as good as the last," said Abi Oladimeji, chief investment officer at Thomas Miller Investment.

For stocks to build on sharp first-quarter gains "a rebound would need to be quite strong given where stock prices are, and that might mean some of the monetary policy easing would go away--so be careful what you wish for," Mr. Oladimeji said.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index outperformed its European counterparts, climbing 1% as the British pound slipped 0.5% against the U.S. dollar. The benchmark and sterling tend to move in opposite directions, and the U.K. currency relinquished its Monday gains amid continuing confusion over the country's attempts to leave the EU.

Lawmakers failed for a second time to find a majority in favor of any alternative to the deal Prime Minister Theresa May brokered with the EU.

Elsewhere, the Turkish lira continued its slump, falling 1.1% against the dollar and extending its fall over the past month to 3%. Elections held over the weekend signaled voters' increasing discomfort with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies, as his party suffered stinging setbacks in key urban centers.

In commodities, Brent crude oil futures were last flat at $68.99 a barrel, staying close to their 2019 high.

Write to David Hodari at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 02, 2019 08:23 ET (12:23 GMT)

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