European stocks ended the week higher on Friday as investors around the world assessed recent strong inflation data and corporate earnings. The Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.3% higher, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. The pan-European benchmark index gained 0.8% for the week. Among sectors, household goods were the top gainers Friday, up 1.9%, while oil and gas stocks were the worst performers, down 0.9%.
U.S. stocks rebounded Friday but still posted their first week of losses in six years as inflation fears mounted. Shares of Dow component Johnson & Johnson rose 1.2% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company will split in two. Johnson & Johnson reportedly plans to spin off its consumer health division into a separate publicly traded company. Technology stocks with large market caps supported the broader market. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, rose 4%. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon each gained more than 1%.
Asian stocks advanced this morning as Chinese economic data surprised on the upside and challenged bets that the economy is in a downturn, although a drop in mainland home prices was a concern. Annual growth in retail sales and industrial production comfortably beat forecasts, with the rise in consumption a positive given the pandemic restrictions. On the negative side, new home prices in China fell 0.2% month-on-month in October, the largest decline since February 2015.
Airbus wins order for 255 jets – first major order since Covid crisis erupted
Airbus has received an order for 255 new aircraft from US private equity firm Indigo Partners. This is the first significant order for the company since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Indigo, founded and led by investor Bill Franke, owns stakes in airlines such as Frontier in the US, Wizz Air in Hungary, Volaris in Mexico and Jetsmart in China and Argentina. Speaking to CNBC at the Dubai Air Show, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the A321 deal was a “very positive signal that we are back on track.” The value of the single-aisle passenger jet deal was not disclosed, but is believed to be in the billions of dollars.
AstraZeneca makes modest profit on Covid 19 vaccine
AstraZeneca announced it is making a modest profit on its coronavirus vaccine as the world learns to live with the virus. The drugmaker is in talks with several countries about new orders for delivery next year. AstraZeneca has pledged to supply the vaccine, developed with Oxford University AstraZeneca has committed to selling the vaccine developed with Oxford University at cost during the pandemic. At a press conference on Friday, the company said low- income countries would continue to receive the vaccine at no profit, while other new orders would be subject to a commercial approach after the pandemic, even if infections rise again in Europe. The Anglo-Swedish company’s third-quarter results showed the vaccine contributed one cent to core earnings per share of $1.08, up 14%. Total product sales rose 49% to $9.74 billion, with vaccine sales topping the $1 billion mark.