U.S. Stocks Fluctuate at Month End as China Moves to Help Growth

U.S. stocks fluctuated in February’s final session, following a second weekly gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as China’s central bank stepped up efforts to cushion the country’s economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 1,945.20 at 9:32 a.m. in New York, on track for a thin monthly advance and holding near its average price during the past 50 days.

Equity futures earlier erased losses of as much as 0.8 percent after China cut the amount of cash the nation’s lenders must hold as reserve. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.3 percent, after losing as much as 1.4 percent.

The S&P 500 halted a two-day advance on Friday after signs of firming inflation spurred speculation interest rates may rise sooner than previously expected. Still, a bank-fueled rebound of 6.5 percent since a Feb. 11 low has erased the benchmark’s losses for the month, putting it on track for a gain of 0.4 percent, the most since October.

Asian shares retreated amid disappointment that the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Shanghai failed to make firm commitments to bolster the global economy. Concern over growth and a deepening rout in oil sent stocks tumbling earlier this year and stoking speculation of more support from policy makers.

Source : Bloomberg

MARKET

S&P 500 Futures Trim Decline After China Cuts Reserve Ratio

U.S. stock-index futures pared declines after China stepped up efforts to cushion an economic slowdown in the country.

Standard & Poor’s 500 E-mini contracts expiring in March trimmed losses to 0.4 percent, trading at 1,935.5 at 10:12 a.m. in London, after sliding as much as 0.8 percent earlier. China said it will cut its reserve requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage point to maintain liquidity in the financial system. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.3 percent to 16,544.

The S&P 500 snapped a two-day rally on Friday after signs of firming inflation fueled speculation interest rates may rise sooner than previously expected.

Source : Bloomberg

MARKET