By Barbara Kollmeyer
European stocks struggled for gains on Wednesday as investors absorbed a mixed bag of earnings from Société Générale, A.P. Moeller-Maersk and other corporates, while U.S. equity futures rose.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.78% rose 0.3% to 411 after a modest decline on Tuesday. But the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.59% slipped 0.1% and the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +1.78% and FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.56% were flat. Asian stocks had a robust session, with the China CSI 300 index /zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed XX:000300 +0.95% surging 2% ahead of the start of the China Lunar New Year holiday.
On firmer footing were U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.13% /zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed YM00 -0.15% /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 -0.17% , which pointed to a higher start for Wall Street following a lackluster session that saw the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.99% and Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.61% each snap six-session winning streaks. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.68% eked out its 10th record close.
Investors are waiting for U.S. consumer prices data for January, with a speech coming as well from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the labor market. Data from Europe showed French industrial production falling for a second straight month in December, halting the recovery from the COVID-19-driven drop.
Among European stocks on the move, shares of Adyen /zigman2/quotes/205351021/delayed NL:ADYEN +5.09% led the Stoxx 600 gainers with a nearly 10% gain after the Dutch paints company reported higher net profit for the second half of 2020 and lifted its long-term earnings margin target.
Also near the top of the gainers list, shares of Société Générale /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE +0.14% rose around 3% after the French bank said it would launch a buyback in the fourth quarter , after net profit for the final quarter of 2020 fell less than expected and it also met guidance for 2020.
On the downside, shares of A.P. Moeller-Maersk /zigman2/quotes/202892434/delayed DK:MAERSK.B +2.01% tumbled over 6%. The Danish shipping giant reported surging demand in the fourth quarter and spiking freight rates spiked due to bottlenecks across its supply chain that includes a lack of ships and containers.
Shares of Heineken /zigman2/quotes/205347870/delayed NL:HEIA +0.64% fell more than 2% after the Dutch brewer said it swung to a loss for 2020 due to pandemic effects, but laid out a target to restore its adjusted operating profit margin to around 17% by 2023. Heineken also said it expects improving market conditions in the second half of this year.