By Steve Goldstein
European stocks traded in a tight range on Tuesday on worries over the political environment on both sides of the Atlantic, as a wave of the Continent’s largest companies, including UBS and Reckitt Benckiser, reported how the pandemic has helped rather than hindered business.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.78% ended 0.3% lower, while the major regional indexes — the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.97% , French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.82% , and U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.31% — were mixed.
U.S. stocks /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.95% dropped on Monday, but rose on Tuesday, as investors waited for a definitive ruling on the fate of stimulus. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped to be able to say whether talks can be completed by the end of Tuesday.
The European Union, meanwhile, indicated it was willing to intensify talks with the U.K. on a new trade pact, but made no other signal it was softening its position, according to a report in The Times newspaper.
The news on the COVID-19 pandemic front continued to be alarming, with Ireland moving to its highest level of restrictions while Wales is set to start a national lockdown on Friday.
The losses came even with a number of well-received earnings reports.
Logitech International’s /zigman2/quotes/204771595/delayed CH:LOGN -3.28% /zigman2/quotes/204321690/composite LOGI +0.84% shares jumped 16% as the Swiss-American computer peripheral maker enjoyed a 75% jump in fiscal second-quarter sales, as its profit surged during the quarter and the company hiked its annual guidance.
Shares of biopharmaceutical lab equipment maker Sartorius /zigman2/quotes/200645387/delayed XE:SRT -3.58% climbed 3% after saying it now expects revenue at the upper end, or slightly above, its previously forecast 22% to 26% range for the year. The company said it has benefited from the preparations of biopharmaceutical customers to build up production capacities for coronavirus vaccines and COVID-19 therapeutics.
UBS /zigman2/quotes/206994749/delayed CH:UBSG -0.66% /zigman2/quotes/206172872/composite UBS +1.49% shares rose 3% as the Swiss banking giant set aside $1.5 billion for stock buybacks, and another $1 billion for dividends, which it expects to receive permission to restart next year. UBS said its third-quarter profit nearly doubled , thanks to a 42% surge in global markets revenue.
Reckitt Benckiser /zigman2/quotes/206856088/delayed UK:RB -0.19% shares rose as the consumer-products company hiked its sales guidance, now seeing low double-digit percentage growth for the year, thanks to demand for disinfection brands like Lysol.
Shares of remote software provider TeamViewer /zigman2/quotes/214407011/delayed XE:TMV -6.10% slumped 8% after Permira sold an 11% stake at an 8% discount to Monday’s close. The stock has surged 34% this year.