Wall Street hesitates, European stock markets on the defensive

The Dow Jones fell 0.09% to 29,398.08 points. The Nasdaq took 0.20%, to 9,731.18 points, and the S&P 500 rose 0.18% to 3,380.16 points. However, the main New York indexes made substantial gains for the whole week, the Dow Jones appreciating by 1.0%, the Nasdaq by 2.2% and the S&P 500 by 1.6%.

According to Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital, this half-hearted session is notably due to the three-day weekend in the United States. The main American financial markets will be closed until Tuesday morning, Monday February 17 being a public holiday in the United States. “Nobody wants to put money on the line before the long weekend,” says Peter Cardillo.

The risks linked to the economic impact of the virus have not particularly hampered the rise of the New York coast in recent weeks. “This could change dramatically if macroeconomic news deteriorates sharply in China and the United States,” warns Peter Cardillo, however.

Brokers also digested a salvo of indicators on the American economy on Friday. Retail sales in the United States rose 0.3% in January from December, according to data from the Commerce Department. This increase is in line with analysts’ expectations. However, these same sales were revised down for November and December, notes Chris Low of FHN Financial.

Industrial production in the United States, for its part, fell again in January to -0.3%, weighed down by the cessation of production of the Boeing 737 MAX. As for consumer confidence, it improved in February, according to the preliminary survey by the University of Michigan, while analysts had predicted a decline.

European stock markets end week on the defensive

European stock exchanges continue to hesitate in the face of the coronavirus epidemic and ended the week generally in the red on Friday.

On the side of values, the German group Volkswagen (-1.21%) proposed Friday to pay 830 million euros to settle a big lawsuit which opposes it to more than 400,000 customers asking repair for their cars equipped with faked diesel engines .

Renault also ended the session in the red (-0.90%), penalized by the announcement of its first net loss in ten years. Its director general has not ruled out that the automaker closes factories, including in France. Conversely, EDF jumped 9.68%, driven by net profit multiplied by more than four in 2019.

On the index side, Paris lost 0.39%. The CAC 40 fell 23.7 points to 6,069.35 points, in a trade volume of 3.5 billion euros. The day before, it had ended in slight decline of 0.19%. Over the past week, it has gained 0.66%. Since January 1, it has increased by 1.53%.

In other European markets, London lost 0.58%, Milan 0.10% and Lisbon 0.07%. Frankfurt finished balanced at -0.009%. Madrid ended up 0.47%, the Swiss Stock Exchange 0.33%, Amsterdam 0.01%, Brussels 0.06%.