NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global stock indexes were flat to higher on Friday as upbeat earnings offset weaker-than-expected results, while the British pound extended losses from the previous day amid fresh uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the European Union.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the trading floor of Barclays Bank at Canary Wharf in London, Britain December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Strong results from Intel (INTC.O) helped to buoy the S&P 500 index in early trading, even as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) shares weighed following the company’s forecast for revenue and profit for the holiday quarter below expectations.
Trade talks were also back in focus with U.S. and Chinese trade officials due to discuss plans for China to buy more U.S. farm products while Beijing in return will request cancellation of some planned and existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.
Graphic: Global currencies versus dollar – tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
The two sides are working to try to agree on a text for a “Phase 1” trade agreement announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Oct. 11, in time for him to sign it with China’s President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile. Though there are still large gaps to bridge.
The majority of U.S. companies have beaten Wall Street expectations so far this earnings season despite concern about the trade war.
“We’ve had some misses … mostly due to trade war concerns, but overall, it looks like we’re headed for a fairly good earnings season,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 124.07 points, or 0.46%, to 26,929.6, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.16 points, or 0.27%, to 3,018.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 31.91 points, or 0.39%, to 8,217.71.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.01% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.15%.
The world’s largest beer maker by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) tumbled on disappointing quarterly profit and a glum outlook as the earnings season rumbled on.
Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2831, down 0.15% on the day.
Reuters reported a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron said an extension to the negotiations for Britain’s departure from the European Union was not justified at this stage.
In the U.S. bond market, benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 2/32 in price to yield 1.7714%, from 1.766% late on Thursday.
A Reuters poll of economists showed that most think a steeper decline in global growth is more likely than a synchronised recovery, despite central bank easing.
Markets are pricing in a 90% chance of a rate cut at next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
On the energy front, U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 0.07% to $56.27 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $61.59, down 0.13% on the day.
Graphic: Gold and 2-year yields – here
Additional reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Karin Strohecker in London; Editing by Alistair Bell