World stocks mixed following Wall Street retreat

AP and AFP

MANILA/HONG KONG– World stocks traded mixed Friday, with a patchy performance in Asia and early gains in Europe and U.S. futures a day after losses on Wall Street.

A day after eking out their first record high of 2014, the U.S. markets lost ground Thursday as electronics retailer Best Buy, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and railroad CSX had disappointing earnings news. U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy plunged 28.6 percent after saying November-December same-store sales were 0.8 percent lower than the previous year’s holiday shopping season. The U.S. Labor department said new claims for unemployment insurance fell 2,000 last week to 326,000, indicating the jobs market is recovering slowly. Also Thursday the Labor department said U.S. consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in December from November, and core prices — stripping out volatile energy and food prices — were up just 0.1 percent. On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.39 percent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.13 percent a day after hitting a record high but the Nasdaq edged up 0.09 percent. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent to 6,819.92. France’s CAC-40 rose 0.1 percent to 4,322.60, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent to 9,741.62.

Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia, said market performance in Asia was a follow-through from the pullback in U.S. markets.

“It is a situation whereby U.S. markets have rallied to record highs — the S&P that is — just a couple of days ago, then of course investors will get a little bit nervous at high levels,” he said. “I think they’d really like to see the earnings come out just to back up the theory that the U.S. markets are on the mend and is in a much better place now.”

He said earnings reports of other big companies were expected later Friday, giving “some investors a reason to stay out of the market and just keep a close eye on the situation” heading into the weekend.

Asian markets mostly slipped Friday, following a negative lead from Wall Street after a disappointing set of corporate results and soft economic data.