Europe Markets: Dow futures slide 500 points and European equity futures drop as Big Tech earnings, COVID-19 and election worries weigh

Europe Markets: Dow futures slide 500 points and European equity futures drop as Big Tech earnings, COVID-19 and election worries weigh

30 Oct    Finance News

A man’s reflection is shown in Apple’s flagship store in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol on Oct. 26, 2020. It remains closed due to the pandemic.

MarketWatch/Kollmeyer

European and U.S. equity futures pointed to losses for markets on Friday, with investors reacting to some disappointment over Apple and Amazon.com earnings, as COVID-19 tensions and pre-election jitters weighed.

German DAX DAX, +0.32% futures dropped 1.1%, while French CAC 40 PX1, -0.03% futures fell 0.6%. The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -0.12% closed with a modest loss on Thursday, but has marked a 5.7% loss in four days, its worst such performance since June. Asian equities fell across the board with the Nikkei 225 index NIK, -1.52% sliding 1.5%.

Asian market performance is a warning that “sentiment remains negative,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note to clients.

“Markets will remain vulnerable to more bad news on the Covid-19 front from the U.S. and Europe, while the nuances of the U.S. election will leave equities to follow other asset classes into the hunkering-down mode,” he said.

Dow futures YM00, -1.60% dropped over 500 points, while S&P 500 futures ES00, -1.67% fell nearly 2% and Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -2.11% slid 2.4%. Major indexes broke a four-session rout on Thursday, after third-quarter preliminary gross domestic product data indicated a rebound of activity following the pandemic-fueled recession.

Investors were weighing up results from technology giants, which reported en masse late Thursday in the U.S. Apple. Amazon.com, Facebook FB, +4.91% and Google parent Alphabet GOOGL, +3.05% all produced record sales amid the pandemic.

However, shares of Apple AAPL, +3.70% fell in late trading as iPhone sales fell short and the company declined to give a financial forecast amid the pandemic. And shares of e-commerce giant Amazon.com AMZN, +1.52% also slipped modestly after projection for fourth-quarter operating profit of $1 billion to $4.5 billion undershot analysts’ average expectation of $5.81 billion.

Clouds continue to hang over investors as coronavirus cases climb on both sides of the Atlantic, and U.S. politicians have been unable to reach a stimulus deal ahead of the presidential election, now just four days away.

Stocks slipped in Europe on Thursday over disappointment that the European Central Bank didn’t bring forward stimulus, despite fresh concerns over the region’s economies. Those fears have been exacerbated by one-month lockdowns announced this week by French and German governments.

The central bank did hint that it’s likely to announce more stimulus in December. Data released Friday showed rebounding growth in the third quarter for France. The eurozone’s second-biggest economy grew 18.2% following a revised 13.7% decline in the second quarter, French statistics agency Insee.

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