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Market Update

Global Markets on Hold Ahead of Rate Decisions in the U.S. and Europe

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 11:58 AM ET December 02 2015

[11:45 AM New York City, New York Global markets lacked momentum and traders in Europe looked ahead to the policy decision of the central bank tomorrow. In the U.S., investors looked ahead to review speech from Fed Chair today and testimony tomorrow.

Global market indexes were little changed and ECB policymakers are scheduled to meet later this week and U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak later today and testify in front of lawmakers.

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity rose 2.2% annual rate during the third-quarter from a year ago period. Output grew 1.8% and hours worked fell 0.3% in the quarter.

From year ago period productivity grew 0.6% and output and hours worked increased 2.5% and 1.9% respectively, the Department of Labor said.

Also, yesterday a private survey showed that the U.S. private sector added accelerated net new hires in November to 217,000 from 196,000 in October. The U.S. government agency is set to release its monthly payroll data on Friday.

On Wall Street, Tollbooth Strategy Index edged up 2.68 to 11,074.45.

S&P 500 index slid 4.86 or 0.2% to 2,097.87 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 9.40 or 0.2% to 5,165.47.

Crude oil in New York fell 56 cents to $41.29 a barrel and gold declined $12.59 to $1,056.70 an ounce.

U.S. Movers

Brown-Forman Corporation ((BF.A)) fell 19 cents to $114.18 after the alcoholic beverages maker said revenues in the second-quarter ending in October declined 4% from a year ago to $1.1 billion.

Net income in the quarter slipped 3% to $200 million compared to $208 billion and diluted earnings per share were flat at 97 cents from the same quarter last year.

European Markets

European stock markets changed direction several times in anticipation of the policy meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday.

While recent economic data support additional stimulus measures from the ECB, there are concerns that expectations of additional steps may not produce intended results.

Annual inflation in the euro area remained stable at 0.1% in November, according to preliminary readings of Eurostat. The inflation number is below forecasts of 0.2% to 0.3% and further boosts expectations that ECB will take action to raise inflation.

Core inflation fell to 0.9% from 1.1% in October, also below forecasts.

Industrial producer price index in October fell 0.3% in the euro zone and 0.2% in the wider region of EU28.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index increased 36.90 or 0.58% to 6,432.55 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 18.42 or 0.16% to 11,242.82.

In Paris, CAC 40 index gained 19.43 or 0.4% to 4,933.96.

Sage Group Plc slipped 1.6% to 567 pence despite a strong earnings report as investors were taking profits after the recent stock rally.

The U.K.-based enterprise software maker reported revenues in the year ending in September jumped 6% from a year ago to 1.40 billion.

Net profit in the period increased 2.9% from a year ago to 194.3 million compared to 188.9 million and diluted earnings per share rose to 18 pence from 17.24 pence.

Vodafone Group Plc gained 0.3% to 222.70 pence after the U.K.-based communication services provider and Swisscom agreed to extend their strategic partnership agreement to fiscal 2019.

Asian Markets

The Nikkei average in Tokyo edged down in a choppy trading session despite a merger between two large petrochemical companies.

Although domestic economic news signaled improving economic fundamentals, investors remained defensive on the downside risk of a slowdown in China.

Inflation is improving steadily and the central bank is on track with its target of 2% inflation, but it is prepared to act quickly if a Chinese economic slowdown harms the trend, said Bank of Japan Deputy Gov. Kikuo Iwata.

The monetary base surged 32.5% to 343.72 trillion yen in November, compared to the previous year month and the base was unchanged from October, the Bank of Japan said in a separate report.

Current account balance jumped 47.1%, including a 46.2% rise in reserve.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc