European stocks slipped, Asian shares rose and U.S. futures edged higher on Thursday as investors weighed corporate results and signs of progress in treating the coronavirus alongside miserable economic data. Oil futures continued to rebound after an early-week tumble.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gave up an early gain to trade in the red after Societe Generale SA posted a surprise first-quarterloss and Royal Dutch Shellcut its dividend for the first time since World War II. Most bonds in the region edged higher ahead of a European Central Bank rate decision later; Bloomberg Economics expects the bank to increase its pandemic bond-buying program in the wake of data showing the French and Spanish economies plunging into recordcontractions and German unemployment surging.
Contracts on the S&P 500 nudged up a day after the benchmark touched a seven-week high, helped in part by Gilead Sciences Inc. saying its experimental drug helped Covid-19 patients recover faster. Nasdaq futures advanced following strong results from Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc. and Tesla Inc. after the Wednesday close. Oil jumped for a second day onsigns fuel consumption is starting to recover in the world’s biggest economies.
Investors continue to weigh a brutal economic picture against hopes for a coronavirus treatment and an eventual end to lockdown measures across the world. The U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony Fauci, said early results from the Gilead drug trial offered “quite good news,” while results from tech giants show some parts of the economy have remained resilient. That’s even as many firms slash dividends and data shows Europe slumped into a recession last quarter alongside America.
27,327 in U.S.Most new cases today
-14% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.122 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-0.5% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), March