By Steve Goldstein
European stocks edged lower on Tuesday, losing momentum after the pause of a key coronavirus vaccine trial.
Up 0.7% on Monday, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.06% weakened by 0.2%.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.29% , French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.53% and U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.35% also sagged.
U.S. stocks /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.16% blasted higher on Monday on little news during a light Columbus Day holiday , with the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.48% rallying 2.6% to its third-highest close in history. But futures /zigman2/quotes/208225921/composite SP -0.30% /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.48% were mixed as Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ -0.13% on Monday night paused its trial of a coronavirus vaccine after an unexplained illness. It isn’t uncommon for drugmakers to pause trials in this way, and so far the pause isn’t the more serious clinical hold.
Third-quarter earnings season starts on Tuesday with JPMorgan Chase /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM -1.05% , BlackRock and Johnson & Johnson each topping analyst estimates.
Thursday, meanwhile, is the U.K.’s self-imposed date to reach a trade agreement with the European Union. The current arrangement lasts until the end of the year. Data from the U.K. showed the unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in the three months ending August , which was higher than expected but masks what is expected to be a bigger jump once the job furlough program expires at the end of October.
Of stocks on the move, MorphoSys /zigman2/quotes/205694191/delayed XE:MOR +0.72% /zigman2/quotes/204695992/composite MOR +0.04% shares slumped 9% as the dual-listed biopharmaceutical said it is selling a €325 million convertible bond.
Rolls-Royce /zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed UK:RR +1.15% shares dropped 6%, the second day of sharp losses for the troubled engine maker after nearly doubling in value last week.
A Rolls-Royce customer, Airbus /zigman2/quotes/208224336/delayed FR:AIR +0.41% , dropped 3% after a downgrade to underweight from hold at JPMorgan Cazenove. The broker cited a more cautious view on air travel and airline profitability, which led it to reduce its view on deliveries next year by 10%.
SSE’s /zigman2/quotes/204546319/delayed UK:SSE +0.07% shares rose 4%, after agreeing to sell its 50% share in two energy-from-waste ventures for £995 million to an infrastructure fund managed by First Sentier Investors.