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Stocks, futures mixed as bond yields march higher: markets wrap

Stocks were mixed on Monday as traders weighed a global advance in sovereign bond yields and corporate developments. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks were mixed on Monday as traders weighed a global advance in sovereign bond yields and corporate developments. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Published Jan 18, 2022

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Stocks were mixed Monday as traders weighed a global advance in sovereign bond yields and corporate developments.

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index gained, while U.S. futures were mixed and Asian shares fell. A dollar gauge ticked higher, as did oil prices. U.S. stock and bond markets are shut Monday for a holiday.

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Bond yields rose around the world after U.S. Treasuries tumbled Friday on concerns about more hawkish Federal Reserve policy to fight inflation. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Friday the central bank could raise rates as many as seven times and traders are reconsidering an earlier kickoff for the first European Central Bank rate increase in more than a decade.

The advance of the omicron virus strain, the start of the earnings season and a boom in mergers and acquisitions are also coloring sentiment. Investors are looking for signs that companies can sustain profit growth despite rising risks from inflation, rates, supply chain bottlenecks and slowing economic growth following last year's blockbuster earnings.

Wall Street banks kicked off the earnings season with mixed results last week, disappointing investors and tamping down some profit expectations for this year.

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"Given the record inflation backdrop and historically tight labor market, investor focus is on margins - demonstrating pricing power, passing on rising costs to the customer," Julian Emanuel, chief equity and quantitative strategist at Evercore ISI, wrote in a note.

Among individual movers on Monday, Unilever shares tumbled, while GlaxoSmithKline rose, as the consumer-products company considers making a higher offer for Glaxo's consumer unit - a deal widely denounced by analysts. Equipment maker BE Semiconductor rose to the highest since the stock's 1995 listing after Oddo and Deutsche Bank boosted their price targets.

Credit Suisse Group AG replaced Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio, who was forced to resign following quarantine breaks after just nine months in charge.

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In Brazil, the controlling shareholders of Braskem SA are seeking to raise about $1.5 billion by selling shares in the petrochemical firm in what is expected to be one of the country's largest equity offerings this year.

Meanwhile, China's central bank cut interest rates on Monday to counter an economic slowdown. A real estate slump and partial coronavirus shutdowns are among the challenges for the world's second-largest economy. The move contrasts with the shift toward tighter monetary policy in the U.S. and elsewhere to contain price pressures.

"The PBOC really has started the New Year in a different position to, let's say, other global banks and we do expect to see further easing or supportive measures, both monetary-wise as well as from a fiscal stance," Catherine Yeung, investment director at Fidelity International, said on Bloomberg Television.

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