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Stocks Pause After Record Run

Stocks Pause After Record Run


 By Christopher Whittall and Ese Erheriene 

Stocks in Europe and U.S. futures were little changed Friday after U.S. equities notched milestones not seen in more than 20 years on Thursday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.1% in early morning trade after Asian markets broadly pushed higher. Futures markets pointed to small opening loss on Wall Street after the S&P 500 closed at its sixth straight record on Thursday, its longest streak of highs since 1997.

Investor focus will turn later Friday to the U.S. jobs report, a key gauge of the health of the economy.

Stocks around the world have been on a tear in recent sessions. As U.S. equity benchmarks have climbed to record highs, a gauge of expected swings in the index-- CBOE's Volatility Index, also known as Wall Street's "fear gauge"--has fallen to an all-time low.

European stocks recently recorded their longest winning streak in more than two years. In Asia, meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average is at levels last seen in June 2015.

With the global economy humming along, investors see few obvious catalysts for a sudden reversal. Still, the fact that U.S. equities in particular look expensive on a range of valuation metrics has made some investors reluctant to chase the market higher.

"This seems to be the most unloved bull market in history," said David Vickers, a portfolio manager at Russell Investments.

"You get the sense that people are gradually getting sucked" in, he added.

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