China data, Alphabet results drag on equities; euro strengthens
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global shares fell on Tuesday, weighed by weak Chinese business surveys and a slump in shares of Google parent Alphabet, while the euro strengthened on the heels of data that showed euro zone growth topped expectations.
Shares of Alphabet dropped more than 8%, the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes a day after both hit record levels, after the company posted its slowest revenue growth in three years. Fellow market heavyweight Apple is scheduled to report results after the market close on Tuesday.
Equity markets were also on shaky footing after surveys on China manufacturing missed forecasts, another sign that Beijing’s efforts to spur growth in the world’s second-biggest economy had yet to take hold. [
“For a world where everyone is kind of closing ranks, and going back towards their borders and really backing off global trade, we are still quite closely connected and we can see that today,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management in Chicago.
Investors were also awaiting a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and payrolls data at the end of the week.
“I don’t think anyone wants to stick their neck out today with Apple, the Fed and payrolls coming for the rest of the week,” Ablin said.
The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged as it seeks to balance solid economic growth against low inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 108.65 points, or 0.41%, to 26,445.74, the S&P 500 lost 16.21 points, or 0.55%, to 2,926.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 107.08 points, or 1.31%, to 8,054.77.
Despite the disappointing Alphabet results, corporate profits for the quarter are now showing growth of 0.7%, according to Refinitiv data, which has helped ease worries about a possible earnings recession.
Most European equities were lower after a brief move into positive territory on some encouraging data in the euro zone as economic growth in the first quarter was much stronger than expected and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest in more than a decade.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.21% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.36%.
The encouraging euro zone data did help the single currency of the region strengthen as it climbed above $1.12 for the first time in a week. The dollar remained subdued against a basket of major currencies even after encouraging data on housing and consumer confidence.
The dollar index fell 0.21%, with the euro up 0.12% to $1.1198.
Brent crude earlier topped $73 as Venezuela’s opposition leader called on the military to back him to end Nicolas Maduro’s rule and Saudi Arabia said a deal between producers to curb output could be extended to the end of 2019.
Prices on crude have since retreated, and U.S. crude fell 0.09% to $63.44 per barrel and Brent was last at $71.60, up 0.08% on the day.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.5108%, from 2.536% late on Monday.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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