Morning Spread

Morning Spread

Thursday 26th February 2015
IndexLevelChg (%)
UK Market6935.710.00
Dow Indust Avg18224.57+0.08
S&P 5002113.86-0.08
Nasdaq Composite4967.14-0.02
Nikkei 22518785.79+1.08
Hang Seng24902.06+0.50
IndexLevelChg (%)
Nymex 1m50.40-1.16
Gold Spot1215.01+0.83
GBP/USD1.5520-0.07
GBP/EUR1.3669+0.15
EUR/USD1.1354-0.08
USD/JPY118.75+0.16

European stocks were little changed this morning as several companies reported earnings. The ESTX 50 (-0.02%), UK markets (-0.02%), CAC 40 (+0.01%) and the Dax (+0.03%) were all pretty flat in early trading. GDF Suez gained +1.2% after reporting 2014 net income in line with estimates and announcing a plan to reduce capital expenditure. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rose +1.6% after saying restructuring would lead to substantial job losses. The bank reported a net loss in 2014 as it wrote down its US unit. Separately, Mizuho Financial Group Inc agreed to acquire its North American loan assets. Standard Chartered Plc rallied +3.8% after naming a new chief executive officer. Allianz lost -3.6% after fourth quarter profit unexpectedly fell.

Most US stocks declined as investors took profits, while the Dow eked out another record high close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.08%) gained, while the S&P 500 (-0.08%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.02%) both closed registering modest declines. Boosting the Dow were consumer discretionary shares including McDonald’s, which was up +3.9%, which also helped to limit losses on the S&P 500. Target gained +0.3% after a stronger than expected jump in same store sales and profits for the fourth quarter. Apple shares dropped -2.6% as investors took profits. Apple is still up 16.6% for the year so far. Hewlett-Packard tumbled -9.9% as the worst performer in the S&P 500, after reporting flat or lower quarterly revenue in all of its operating units and forecast full year earnings well below analysts’ expectations.

Asian stocks rose led by energy producers and speculation the Chinese government will do more to cushion the economic slowdown. The Nikkei 225 (+1.08%) and the Hang Seng (+0.50%) both advanced, while the S&P/ASX 200 (-0.61%) retreated. Inpex Corp jumped +3.3% in Tokyo after crude futures rebounded yesterday. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co added +2.8%. Yamada Denki Co surged +5.2% after saying its president increased holdings in the company. Qantas Airways Ltd rose +1.4% after reporting that it had returned to profit. China Vanke Co jumped +4.2% in Hong Kong, pacing gains among Chinese developers. SoftBank Corp added +1.7% as the mobile internet provider gained for a fifth day. Shikoku Electric sank -2.1%. Tokyo Electric Power Co lost -0.6%.