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Home>Markets on Hold a Day After Wall Street Clinched Fresh Record -- 2nd Update

Markets on Hold a Day After Wall Street Clinched Fresh Record -- 2nd Update

Markets on Hold a Day After Wall Street Clinched Fresh Record -- 2nd Update


 By Riva Gold and Suryatapa Bhattacharya -- Stocks little changed in Europe and Asia -- ECB minutes eyed -- Spanish assets recover 

Stock moves were muted Thursday with the S&P 500 angling at its longest streak of record closes in 20 years.

Futures pointed to a less than 0.1% opening gain on Wall Street, a day after gains in internet retailers pushed the S&P 500 to its seventh straight session of advances.

U.S. stocks have been buoyed in recent sessions by continued signs that the economy remains on track and expectations of another quarter of above-average earnings growth.

"Investors understand data will be flipping over next month due to the impact of hurricanes," said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. "But I still think there will be rising confidence in the idea that this economic expansion is not over."

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged down 0.2% midday after snapping a nine-session winning streak on Wednesday, its longest in over two years.

Spanish stocks showed signs of recovering, however, with Spain's IBEX 35 index adding 1% -- led by gains in utility companies -- after sliding 2.9% Wednesday, its biggest percentage decline in more than a year.

Catalonia set a course toward declaring its secession from Spain as soon as Monday as Catalan President Carles Puigdemont made a televised address in which he took issue with a speech Spain's king made the previous evening admonishing the region's leaders for "inadmissible disloyalty."

"The potential for independence has been really priced out [by investors] as a tail risk with the stance the Spanish government has been taking," said Martin Arnold, strategist at ETF Securities. Even if Catalonia did break off, the euro would likely remain resilient due to strength the wider eurozone economy, he said.

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