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U.S. Equities Slip From Record as Dollar Rallies: Markets Wrap

Vildana Hajric
U.S. Equities Slip From Record as Dollar Rallies: Markets Wrap

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U.S. equities edged lower as investors assessed corporate earnings and economic data. Treasuries joined a global rally in sovereign bonds and the dollar extended its rally to a four-month high.

The S&P 500 Index slumped 0.2 percent from Tuesday’s record close. AT&T Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. fell after reporting first-quarter results, while Boeing Co. rose. The euro sank to the lowest in almost two years after key gauges of confidence in the EU’s two largest economies deteriorated. The loonie fell to the weakest since January after the Bank of Canada abandoned its bias toward raising rates.

U.S. stocks have been on a tear since late last year, but the fresh record Tuesday appears to have triggered a pause and some soul-searching among investors. Although about 80 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting results so far have exceeded estimates, some are starting to question whether the rally has legs. Positive earnings surprises in Europe, meanwhile, have done little to erase lingering concerns about the region’s economic outlook. Still ahead is U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product data due on Friday.

“Overall, we’ve seen somewhat better-than-expected earnings coming in,” said Bill Merz, the head of fixed-income research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “But we do see softness in economic data across the globe, and while there are some signs of potential bottoming outside the U.S., we do see enough signs of slowing growth.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index snapped its longest rally since 2017. Asian stock gauges were mixed. In China, markets got little help from the central bank’s move to support liquidity in the banking system by injecting the equivalent of about $40 billion in medium-term loans. Policy makers have refrained from stronger measures, such as lowering benchmark lending rates, as an upturn in economic data reduces the pressure for more stimulus.

Elsewhere, emerging-market currencies and shares fell.

Here are some notable events coming up:

A Who’s Who of the tech world reports this week, with Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft among the heavy hitters on tap. European bank earnings kick into full gear with reports from Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and Swedbank.The Bank of Japan, Bank of Russia, Sweden’s Riksbank and Bank of Indonesia set monetary policy.Japan’s Shinzo Abe meets leaders of the European Union Thursday before flying to the U.S. for a summit with President Donald Trump.The initial print on first-quarter U.S. GDP Friday will be closely watched for clues as to how the economy responded to the government shutdown and fallout from the fourth-quarter market rout.

These are the main market moves:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2 percent at the close of trading in New York.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent, the first retreat in two weeks.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.6 percent.The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.7 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.6 percent.The euro fell 0.6 percent to $1.1155, the weakest since June 2017.The Japanese yen fell 0.3 percent to 112.21 per dollar, the weakest this year.The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index sank 0.5 percent to the lowest since March.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped four basis points to 2.52 percent.Germany’s 10-year yield declined five basis points to -0.02 percent.Britain’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to 1.17 percent.

Commodities

The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.3 percent.West Texas crude fell 0.9 percent to $65.73 a barrel.Copper rose 0.6 percent to $2.917 a pound.Gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,276.34 an ounce.

--With assistance from Cormac Mullen, Justina Vasquez, Robert Brand and Eddie van der Walt.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Brendan Walsh

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