By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stocks on Tuesday inched higher on the eve of earnings season.
After losses for two straight sessions, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.97% edged up 0.12% to 418.89, not far from the record close of 419.74 reached on Dec. 27.
Earnings season kicks off on Tuesday with results from banks Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
According to UBS, the Stoxx 600 is trading on 16.3 times estimated 2019 earnings, versus 20.2 times for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.51% but just 14.7 times for the MSCI emerging-markets index.
Of stocks in the spotlight, bookmakers William Hill /zigman2/quotes/201135907/delayed UK:WMH +7.27% and Flutter Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/208882914/delayed UK:FLTR +2.34% declined as the U.K. Gambling Commission announced a ban on credit-card use. See: U.K. gambling operators pressured by credit-card ban
Specialty chemicals maker Evonik Industries /zigman2/quotes/201875163/delayed DE:EVK +0.10% slumped over 4% after a public sector foundation, RAG, sold a 5.4% stake. RAG still holds 59% of Evonik.
Neste /zigman2/quotes/202009726/delayed FI:NESTE -2.64% rose in Helsinki trade as UBS upgraded the refiner to buy from neutral, saying biofuel mandates will lift renewable diesel prices in Europe, and it will also get a lift from the extension of the blender’s tax credit in the U.S.