Stock Market News (US Open) – World equities trade higher as investors await Jackson Hole key speeches – XM (blog)

Maja Rakic, XM Investment Research Desk

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All major bourses traded higher during European trading hours with the three main US indices also advancing, in a light-volume market. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.54%, while the blue chip STOXX 50 gained 0.61%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.16%, the S&P rose 0.18% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.27% after the market opened.

Investors will be analyzing events at Jackson Hole, most notably keen to get updates from Mario Draghi and Janet Yellen, both due to speak tomorrow.

In Europe, the utilities sector drove the gains by advancing 0.81% ahead of the US open. The technology sector was the sole decliner (down 0.18%) among the STOXX 600 sectors.

Among country indices, the Italian FTSE MIB outperformed by advancing 1.22% as banks gained after declines in the prior session and Fiat Chrysler continued advancing (up 5.69%). Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.51% and the German DAX gained 0.55%.

The share prices of Provident Financial, Britain’s subprime lender and WPP rebounded after a strong sell-off in the prior session. Provident Financial was the top mover among the STOXX 600 stocks, up 15.58%, while the share price of WPP rose 2.39%. Sunrise Communications continued gaining in late trading, up 6.61% on strong second quarter results and increased guidance for the full year.

The airlines sector had a few movers with EasyJet, Lufthansa and Thomas Cook standing out. The share price of EasyJet fell 3.54% following a broker target price downgrade. The UK airline is facing increasing pressure as UK consumers’ wallets tighten. Lufthansa gave an offer for some of Air Berlin’s assets while Thomas Cook is still to issue an official proposal.

In the US, retail stocks dominated pre-market earnings with Tiffany, Abercrombie & Fitch, Williams-Sonoma and Guess all reporting upbeat results and trading higher upon market open.

Within US retail space, it is worth noting Wal-Mart’s latest move to challenge e-commerce giant Amazon. Wal-Mart announced a cooperation with Google that will allow its customers to make voice orders online. This is Wal-Mart’s latest step to grow its online market share while at the same time Amazon is stepping up its brick-and-mortar presence with the Whole Foods acquisition that got regulatory approval yesterday.

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