European markets closed slightly weaker on Friday as renewed concerns over omicron covid 19 variant continued to weigh, while investors reacted to key U.S. inflation data. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.3% lower, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Retail stocks led the losses, falling 1.4%. On the data front in Europe, the U.K. economy grew just 0.1% in October from a month earlier, falling short of expectations in a Reuters poll that expected growth of 0.4%. The result has cast doubt on whether the Bank of England will raise interest rates at its next meeting.
The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, ending Wall Street’s strong rally last week. The Labor Department said Friday that inflation rose 6.8% year-over-year in November to the highest level since 1982, slightly above the Dow Jones estimate of 6.7%. The consumer price index, which measures the cost of a broad basket of goods, rose 0.8% in November. The core rate CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.5% for the month and 4.9% from a year earlier, in line with estimates.
Asia-Pacific markets advanced this morning as investors turn their attention to a series of monetary policy meetings taking place this week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1%. Reuters reported that Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group will withdraw its $767 million Hong Kong IPO after being blacklisted from investing in the U.S. A number of top central banks will hold their monetary policy meetings this week, including the Bank of Japan.
Oracle shares see second-best day in 20 years
Shares of Oracle surged 15.6% on Friday after the company reported second-quarter 2022 earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ estimates. Oracle shares had their best day since March 2020 and their second-biggest rise in 20 years. The share price increase boosted the company’s market capitalization by nearly $38 billion to $280.6 billion. Oracle chairman and founder Larry Ellison’s personal fortune rose by nearly $16 billion. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.21 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.11 per share, according to Refinitiv. Quarterly revenue was $10.36 billion, beating estimates of $10.21 billion.
AMC Entertainment shares slump nearly 7% as insiders continue to sell shares
Shares of AMC Entertainment plunged nearly 7% on Friday after two of the company’s executives sold a large chunk of their stock. CEO Adam Aron sold another $9.65 million worth of AMC stock as part of his estate planning, a move he warned investors about back in August. He sold 312,500 shares Tuesday at an average price of $30.86 apiece, according to a report filed Thursday. That sale comes a month after Aron sold 625,000 shares of the company for about $25 million. He continues to hold about 96,000 shares, excluding about 2.9 million shares that may be issued in the future and based on performance targets. Separately, AMC Chief Financial Officer Sean Goodman sold all of his 18,316 shares for about $565,000, according to a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.