European Stocks Fall Further, Set for Worst December Since 2002

European stocks fell for a second day, trimming their annual advance as they’re poised to post their worst December since 2002.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3 percent at 8:12 a.m. in London, with the volume of shares changing hands more than two-thirds lower than the 30-day average. Markets including Germany, Switzerland and Italy are closed, while the U.K., France and the Netherlands will shut by 1:05 p.m. today.

Energy companies led the losses on Thursday, and almost all Stoxx 600 industry groups fell.

While the Stoxx 600 is heading for a third weekly advance, that wasn’t enough to erase monthly losses. The gauge has fallen 4.8 percent in December, trimming its annual rise to 7.1 percent, after surging as much as 21 percent through its April record, buoyed by the European Central Bank’s stimulus — concerns that China’s slowdown would hamper the global recovery took over, just as oil and commodities deepened their slumps and the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in more than a decade.

That’s still better than the U.S. market. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is little changed for 2015, after three years of gains surpassing 11 percent. And with a valuation of 16 times estimated earnings, Stoxx 600 shares remain cheaper than U.S. ones.

Source: Bloomberg

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S&P 500 heading for worst December performance since 2002

U.S. stocks retreated, extending a drop to two-month lows amid turbulence in credit markets, and as weakness in commodity shares reflected lingering global growth concerns before the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.8 percent to 1,997.03 at 11:40 a.m. in New York, extending a drop after sliding 1.9 percent Friday to cap the gauge’s worst week since August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 98.81 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,166.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.1 percent.

The S&P 500 slid to a two-month low on Friday, rounding off its first weekly drop in four as commodity and financial shares led the drop. Asset managers extended declines today after a rout Friday following Third Avenue’s move to freeze redemptions in its $ 789 million Focused Credit Fund. Franklin Templeton Funds parent Franklin Resources lost 4 percent, while Legg Mason Inc. declined 3.1 percent.

Apple Inc. dropped 2.6 percent, weighing on the technology group after Morgan Stanley cut its 2016 iPhone sales outlook while JPMorgan Chase & Co. noted signs of weakness in the company’s supply chain.

Source: Bloomberg

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