NEW YORK (Reuters) – World stocks retreated from earlier gains on Monday as underwhelming quarterly results from U.S. banks weighed on Wall Street, though progress in U.S.-China trade talks helped European stocks tread water.
The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index dipped after Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc both reported quarterly revenue below consensus estimates.
Wall Street’s negative turn weighed on MSCI’s gauge of global equities, which dropped 0.1%.
Investors are focused on the U.S. earnings season to gauge the strength of corporate America in the face of major challenges to growth.
While U.S. corporate earnings are widely expected to drop year-over-year for the first quarter, analysts anticipate an increase in revenue. As a result, equity investors will likely follow top-line results closely, said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York.
“People are focusing on the revenue numbers, and they’re virtually in line if not slightly disappointing so far,” he said.
In Europe, the STOXX 600 edged up 0.1% as optimism over trade relations provided ballast for the index even as corporate earnings disappointed.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped U.S.-China trade talks were approaching a final lap.
Also, Reuters reported on Sunday that U.S. negotiators have tempered demands that China curb industrial subsidies as a condition for a trade deal after strong resistance from Beijing.
Trade hopes, combined with strong Chinese export and euro zone industrial production data on Friday, have lifted European equities.
Equities and other risky assets have been volatile this year over worries of a slowdown in the United States and other major economies.
Investors this week will be scrutinizing data – including Germany’s ZEW survey and Chinese gross domestic product due on Wednesday – for signs of whether a global economic slowdown is turning around.
U.S. retail sales and housing data, which will give a glimpse into whether the U.S. economy is withstanding that broader slowdown, are also scheduled for release this week.
Ahead of those data, U.S. Treasury yields fell from four-week highs on Monday, while the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, dropped slightly.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 1/32 in price to yield 2.5561 percent, from 2.56 percent late on Friday.
The dollar index fell 0.05 percent.
In U.S. equities, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.34 points, or 0.19%, to 26,361.96, the S&P 500 lost 5.52 points, or 0.19%, to 2,901.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.85 points, or 0.31 percent, to 7,959.31.
In commodities, oil provided big milestones last week, with Brent breaking through the $70 threshold and the U.S. benchmark posting six straight weeks of gains for the first time since early 2016.
On Monday, though, Brent crude futures fell 37 cents to $71.18 a barrel, a 0.5 percent loss, on signals that Russia may exit production cuts. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 65 cents to $63.24 a barrel, a 1.0 percent loss.
Reporting by April Joyner in New York; Additional reporting by Tom Finn in London and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Karen Brettell and Stephanie Kelly in New York; Editing by Ed Osmond and Chris Reese