US stocks retreated on Monday on disappointing Thanksgiving holiday sales while investors awaited central bank policy decisions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.44% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.37%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.46% with healthcare and consumer shares leading the decliners. However, the three major indexes recorded the second monthly gain in a row with Dow adding 0.3% and S&P 500 rising 0.1%. The dollar gained. Live dollar index data showed ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, edged up 0.09% to 100.14. While the sales on Cyber Monday, the busiest day of the year for internet shopping, were up 14% from a year earlier, the retail stocks were down. Target shares fell 1.3% as its website suffered an outage due to heavy traffic. Brick-and-mortar retailer stocks were down after disappointing Black Friday, with Wal-Mart shares down 1.8% and Macy's lower 2.3%. Investors are cautious to make big bets ahead of economic data due this week which may influence central bank decisions. Non-farm payrolls report will be released on Friday ahead of the Fed's December 16-17 policy meeting. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify in Congress on Thursday and give a speech on the economic outlook the day before. Today at 16:00 CET November ISM Manufacturing PMI, Construction Spending and Prices Paid will be published. The tentative outlook is positive. And at 18:45 CET Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on economy and monetary policy in East Lansing.
European stocks ended higher on Monday as investor optimism was underpinned by expectations of more stimulus measures by the European Central Bank. The ECB is expected to cut interest rates on euro deposits and extend its quantitative easing program on Thursday. The euro weakened which helped boost shares of auto makers and luxury goods companies as cheaper euro makes their products more competitive overseas. The Stoxx 600 rose 0.46%. German carmaker Volkswagen rallied 6.2% after Germany's transport minister voiced approval of VW's plans to resolve issues related to its cheating on emissions tests. Today at 09:55 CET German Unemployment Change and Unemployment Rate for November will be published in euro-zone. The tentative outlook is neutral. At 09:55 CET final reading of German Manufacturing PMI for November will be released. At 10:00 CET final euro-zone Manufacturing PMI for November will be released by Markit. The tentative outlook is neutral. At 09:00 CET Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will give a news conference on central bank’s semiannual Financial Stability Report. And at 10:30 CET Markit Manufacturing PMI for November will be released in UK. The tentative outlook is positive.
Nikkei rose 1.3% today breaching the 20000 level for the first time since August and closing at 20012.4. Investor sentiment was underpinned by expectations of more stimulus measures by ECB and rising US stock futures. Japanese stocks advanced despite the disappointing report from China indicating the activity in manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth straight month to a three-year low with the official Purchasing Managers' Index falling to 49.6 in November from the previous month's reading of 49.8. As was widely expected the International Monetary Fund admitted the yuan into its Special Drawing Rights basket alongside the dollar, euro, Pound sterling and yen.
The Reserve Bank of Australia left the interest rate unchanged at 2% today, which helped drive the Australian dollar 0.4% higher against the dollar.
The oil futures prices are edging up today after falling on Monday on expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will decide to continue its strategy of protecting market share by keeping high output levels at its Friday meeting.