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.
futures dropped 1.1%, while French CAC 40
futures fell 0.6%. The Stoxx Europe 600 index
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
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.
dropped over 500 points, while S&P 500 futures
fell nearly 2% and Nasdaq-100 futures
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
and Google parent Alphabet
all produced record sales amid the pandemic.
However, shares of Apple
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
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.