U.S. equity futures advanced with European stocks on Wednesday as investors weathered continued volatility in energy markets and perused earnings reports that weren’t uniformly negative. Oil pared a decline, while gold jumped.
S&P 500 Index contracts climbed after the gauge closed down more than 3% a day earlier, when investors shrugged off progress of afresh relief package to counter the economic hit from the coronavirus. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced in the wake of Tuesday’s slump, with all 19 sectors in the green including energy shares.
Brent crude pared most of a tumble that reached 17% earlier, while West Texas oil also erased much of its slide. Treasuries edged lower along with the dollar and European bonds. That region’s policy makers plan to hold acall on Wednesday evening where they may discuss whether to accept junk-rated debt as collateral from lenders, according to officials familiar with the matter.
Investors are continuing efforts to assess the hit to the global economy from the pandemic, with the oil market chaos suggesting it will be deeper or longer than anticipated by those who drove the S&P 500 up 28% from its March lows. Even so, some countries are moving to relax the lockdown measures being used to contain the outbreak.
Meanwhile, corporate earnings have been mixed. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. withdrew its guidance, while Netflix said it added nearly twice as many subscribers as predicted in the first quarter. Roche Holding AG said it still expects a small profit gain this year as demand for its best-selling medicines holds up and the drugmaker works on developing tests for Covid-19.
“There’s no way you can predict earnings right now,” Michael Cuggino, portfolio manager at Pacific Heights Asset Management LLC, said on Bloomberg TV. “It’s virtually impossible until we have more visibility with respect to how to world comes out of the coronavirus on the other side.”
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The Senate passed a $484 billion pandemic relief package and the House could take it up as soon as Thursday. President Donald Trump said his administration is working on a plan to make money available to the oil industry to prevent the loss of jobs after prices plunged.
Elsewhere, the Australiandollar rose as better-than-expected retail sales data triggered the unwinding of some short positions. Stocks slipped in Japan but climbed in other major Asian markets. Gold rebounded to $1,700 an ounce.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 1.2% as of 6:08 a.m. New York time.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.2%.
- Nasdaq 100 Index futures rose 1.2%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.1%.
- The euro was unchanged at $1.0858.
- The British pound rose 0.6% to $1.2362.
- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.1% to 107.69 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained two basis points to 0.59%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield rose two basis points to 0.312%.
- The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s declined one basis point to 2.619 percentage points.
- West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 3.3% to $11.19 a barrel.
- Brent crude decreased 2.1% to $18.92 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 0.9% to $1,701.21 an ounce.
- Copper gained 0.7% to $2.28 a pound.
— With assistance by Haidi Lun, and Adam Haigh
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