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FTSE and Europe's markets fall and S&P 500 heads past 5,000 on earnings tailwinds

FTSE NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 05: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading on February 05, 2024 in New York City. The stock market closed down with the Dow Jones leading the way, closing more than 250 points lower amid speculation that the federal reserve is unlikely to make rate cuts in March. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
The FTSE and European markets were mixed on Friday afternoon, while the US continued to chase all-time highs. (Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images)

The FTSE and European markets were down by the afternoon on Friday, and the US continued to chase all-time highs as investors digest the tail-end of earnings season. It has been a volatile week for the FTSE 100 as the Bank of England left interest rates on hold, and major companies like BP reported results.

  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was down 0.3% as markets closed in London.

  • The German DAX (^GDAXI) was down 0.3%, while the CAC (^FCHI) in Paris fell 0.3%.

  • Across the pond, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was 0.3% higher by late-morning, building on all-time highs seen on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) also rose 0.9%. Meanwhile, the Dow (^DJI) was 0.2% lower.

  • Top movers in the US were Pinterest, Cloudflare and PepsiCo.

  • The moves in Europe came following news that Barclays (BARC.L) has moved to buy supermarket giant Tesco's (TSCO.L) banking operations, in a deal worth £700m. The deal is an 'acqui-hire' and will see some 2,800 banking staff transfer from the supermarket to the bank.

  • Barclays stock made small moves higher on the news, while Tesco was up as much as 1.8%, before trading around 0.2% higher by the afternoon.

  • Tesco said that no action is required from customers, and that it will contact them as the changeover happens in earnest.

Follow along for live updates:

  • That's all from me

    Head over to the Yahoo Finance US site for mroe market moving news. Happy Friday

  • More on oil -- price rise on the cards

    Here's IG analysts' take on what might be to come next week:

    "While US natural gas prices tanked to a 12% weekly fall amid near-record production, the oil price rallied by over 5%. The rejection of ceasefire proposals between the Israeli Defence Force and Hamas concerned investors regarding possible supply disruptions and led to the price surge which is likely to continue if tensions remain high in the region. Last week's inflows into the US dollar have given way to some outflows in the course of this week during which several Fed members have re-iterated the Fed's cautious stance regarding rate cuts."

  • 5,000 is the magic number

    We've had some commentary come in on the near-record highs the S&P 500 is flirting with. Here's what Adam Turnquist, chief technical strategist for LPL Financial thinks:

    • A close above this closely watched level will undoubtedly create headlines and further feed fear of missing out (FOMO) emotions. Outside of a potential sentiment boost, round numbers such as 5,000 often provide a psychological area of support or resistance for the market. Researchers often refer to them as ‘cognitive shortcuts’ that create a round-number bias.

    • Performance for the S&P 500 has been positive after reaching a major milestone. Of the last nine, the index posted a 12-month average return of 10.4% after clearing each milestone, with 78% of occurrences producing positive results.

    • If the market does surpass 5,000, history suggests it may take a few tries to hold above this level. There have only been two milestones that were not subsequently breached after being crossed.

  • Risers and fallers in the FTSE 100

    Meanwhile the FTSE has gone into negative territory. Here are today's stock fallers:

    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown

    And the stocks propping it up:

    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Trending tickers

    As we mentioned in our piece earlier outlining today's trending tickers, Pinterest and Cloudflare are interesting stocks to watch today in the US.

    Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
    Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

    Cloudflare is so far up almost 25% in early trade in the US today. The moves come after revenue came in at $362.5m for the quarter, an increase of 32% year-over-year. Full-year 2023 revenue was $1.3bn. The company also released forecasts for its first quarter revenue at $372.5-$373.5m, beating Wall Street expectations.

    Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
    Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

    Meanwhile, Pinterest saw its revenue for the fourth quarter come in at $981m with 12% year-on-year growth. Monthly active users jumped to 498 million with 11% year-on-year growth.

    Following the results, the stock was trading almost 28% lower due to revenue sailing below expectations, but picked up after news of a partnership deal with Google announced on the company's earnings call. CEO Bill Ready told analysts the company had begun to roll out a new ad integration which will focus on monetising "under-monetised" markets.

    "We went live a couple of weeks ago, and this is starting to ramp up. Third-party ad demand is scaling as we anticipated," said Ready.

    It's down almost 11% in early trade.

  • US inflation

    There's been a small revision to US inflation data, detailed by LiveSquawk here:

  • Oil prices calmer after Thursday's jump

    Oil prices are starting the day on a calmer note, after jumping more than 2% on Thursday due to continued tensions in the Middle East.

    The potted summary is that the US killed the commander of an Iran-backed militia and Israel rejected a Hamas ceasefire proposal, indicating no clear end date to the conflict in the region.

    Brent crude (BZ=F) is trading at $81.61 a barrel right now, and crude (CL=F) is up 0.1% to trade at $76.33.

  • Cocoa going loco

    Cocoa futures have soared this week, spelling trouble for chocolate lovers. Here's Neil Wilson from Finalto on the jump:

    "Cocoa prices hit fresh record highs on poor weather driving a decline in West African crop yields. Last year we discussed heavy rain in West Africa accelerating the spread of black pod disease, which causes cocoa pods to turn black and rot. Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus in the Ivory Coast has also hit production. And whilst higher prices have tended to encourage more planting, EU rules make this harder today than in the past. Now it looks like the El Nino effect is starting to worry traders about the 2024 crop too."

  • BoE's Haskel wants to know for sure that inflation is cooling

    Reuters has an exclusive interview with one of the Bank of England's more cautious monetary policy committee members this morning, suggesting there hasn't yet been enough evidence of cooling inflation to know that rate cuts are a good idea for the economy.

    Jonathan Haskel was one of two MPC members who, last week, voted to raise the interest rate from 5.25% to 5.5%. Six members voted to hold and one voted to cut.

    "I'm not going to apologise for banging on about persistence because I think we're right to," he told the news service, adding that the fall in inflation so far from 11.1% to 4% did not necessarily mean the future will be a low-inflation environment.

    "The signs that we've seen thus far are encouraging. I don't think we've seen quite enough signs yet," Haskel said. "But if we accumulate more evidence on persistence, then by the very logic I've just set out, I'd be happy to change my vote."

  • Thursday's close in the US

    US markets made small moves higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) briefly reaching a record high of 5,000 in intraday trading, before closing back down at 4,997 points.

    The Nasdaq (^IXIC), meanwhile, rose 0.2% and the Dow (^DJI) was up 0.1%, also touching record highs.

    The small-cap Russell 2000 Index (^RUT) was an outperfomer on Thursday, rising almost 1.5% after having been a laggard during this year's market rally that has continued many of the themes that predominated in 2023.

    Stocks have rallied as robust economic data and upbeat earnings have lifted spirits on Wall Street. But some investors are questioning whether gains can be sustained, given the concentrated group of megacaps driving them.

  • Overnight in Asia

    Chinese stocks were mixed and the Nikkei (^N225) made muted moves higher in Asian trading hours on Friday after inflation figures from China sewed uncertainty, even after signals of support for the market from Beijing earlier in the week.

    The new data showed consumer prices in China have fallen at a faster clip year-on-year in January, down by 0.8% after falling 0.3% in December.

    The Hang Seng (^HSI) fell 0.8% in Hong Kong while the SSE Composite (000001.SS) closed 1.3% higher.

  • Good morning

    Good morning from London. The FTSE 100 is feeling brighter than the weather, trading up around 0.1% before markets open in London. We also have more signals out of the Bank of England about its rate path.

    Without further ado, let's get to it.

Watch: S&P 500 extends record streak; chip stocks rally