A choppy session for European equities today, with major indices spending much of the day swinging between gains and losses as investors reacted to key economic data and earnings releases. London’s blue chip index started the session on a positive note, but investor confidence was quickly sapped as markets consolidated around multi-year highs, leaving the index to close down 0.09% on the day. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were also hit by recent profit taking as investors reacted to weaker than expected corporate earnings in the US, with the indices closing lower by 0.16% and 0.35% respectively.
Wall Street bears were in control on the open with the S&P 500 and DJIA trading between 0.3% and 0.6% lower at the time of writing. Despite the best efforts of lower than expected weekly initial jobless claims, which came in 2,000 below both the consensus estimate compiled by Bloomberg and the previous week’s figure of 328K, and a stronger Philly Fed reading at 9.4 against the forecast of 8.7, markets struggled with the release of less than impressive corporate earnings. Disappointing announcements from Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Best Buy dragged markets lower as investors struggle to find justification for the recent record high.