Investor Alert

New York Markets Close in:

Europe Markets

Feb. 5, 2021, 4:40 a.m. EST

European stocks head for best week since November as investors wait for U.S. jobs data

By Barbara Kollmeyer

European stocks were headed for the best weekly return since November amid a flurry of fresh earnings news on Friday, while U.S. equity futures also rose modestly ahead of a big piece of data — nonfarm payrolls.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index (STOXX:XX:SXXP) rose 0.3% to 410.90, poised for a weekly return of 3.8%, the best since the week ended Nov. 13, when the index rose 5.1%. The German DAX (XEX:DX:DAX) rose 0.1% and the FTSE 100 index (FTSE:UK:UKX) was flat, but the French CAC 40 (PAR:FR:PX1) gained 0.9% thanks to a batch of earnings.

U.S. stock futures (CME:ES00) (CBT:YM00) were slightly higher, led by Nasdaq-100 futures (CME:NQ00) . The S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:COMP) hit fresh records on Thursday, boosted by a drop in COVID-19 deaths and cases, corporate results, and encouraging weekly jobless claims.

Investors on both sides of the Atlantic will be focused on January U.S. jobs data , with expectations for a jobs gain of 55,000, according to economists contacted by Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. But the labor market continues to struggle from the winter onslaught of COVID-19.

U.S. drug company Johnson & Johnson  (NYS:JNJ) said it had submitted an application for an emergency-use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

In Europe, where cases are also starting to ease off amid tight restrictions, data from Germany revealed a bigger-than-expected drop in manufacturing orders for December.

Among stocks on the move, shares of Beazley (LON:UK:BEZ) surged 13%, after the specialty insurer swing to a pretax loss for 2020, but said it was upbeat about its performance in 2021.

Shares of Vinci (PAR:FR:DG) jumped 5%, after the French construction company posted a sharp fall in profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but analysts cited a strong beat on free cash flow.

Carlsberg (CSE:DK:CARL.A) shares climbed over 3%, after the brewer proposed a bigger payout for shareholders as it posted a forecast-beating full-year net profit , citing cost cuts and a strong China rebound.

Shares of BNP Paribas (PAR:FR:BNP) rose 2%. The French bank reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit, hurt by record low interest rates and the pandemic, but forecast a rebound in revenue this year as the global economy picks up.

Sanofi (PAR:FR:SAN) (NAS:SNY) shares rose 2%, after the French drug company swung to a profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, even as it posted a sales drop on the year.

Leading the decliners, shares of Finnish engineering group Neste (HEL:FI:NESTE) fell nearly 6% after reporting results, which included a drop in operating profit.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.