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Europe mixed and US stocks slip as bumper rally takes breather

ftse NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 29: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on February 29, 2024 in New York City. Stocks opened up on the rise as investors await the latest release of inflation data from the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
The FTSE 100 was down and US stocks dipped as markets opened in the US on Monday, following a record-setting week for Wall Street. (Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images)

The FTSE 100 was down and European indices were mixed as markets closed in Europe. Meanwhile US stocks dipped following a record-setting week for Wall Street.

  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was 0.6% lower by the closing bell. Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) was 0.1% lower and the CAC (^FCHI) in Paris rose 0.2%. The pan-European STOXX 600 (^STOXX) fell 0.1%.

  • US stocks were lower, with the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) down 0.1% and 0.2% respectively and the Dow (^DJI) shedding around 106 points to trade 0.3% lower.

  • US stocks have racked up gains in recent weeks amid a relentless AI-spurred run-up in techs, which helped the Nasdaq Composite to finally nail a fresh all-time high after a years-long wait.

  • That tech rally, and Nvidia's (NVDA) breakneck rise to a $2tn valuation in particular, has prompted concerns about a building bubble — though some analysts are less worried.

  • Meanwhile, the moves in Europe come ahead of the spring budget, due to be announced on Wednesday.

  • Reports over the past week havre suggested policies could include the introduction of a 99% mortgage by chancellor Jeremy Hunt, in a bid to spur on the housing market and get more people into ownership.

  • There is also a rumoured additional cut to national insurance payments on the slate, according to a report in the Financial Times.

  • This could be the last budget before the next UK general election, with curbing inflation, public debt and cost of living hot on the agenda.

Follow along for live updates:

  • Thanks for reading!

    That's all from me today, head over to our US site for more market moving news.

  • Apple stock falls

    Apple stock is trading 2.8% lower after news of the EU antitrust fine.

  • Macy's on the up

    Macy's is 14.2% higher as markets open in the US, as a takeover battle rages for the department store chain.

    In the latest development, Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management increased their takeover offer, with a potential deal now valued at $6.6bn.

    On Sunday, the pair announced they had submitted an all-cash offer of $24 per remaining share, an increase on the previous bid of $21 per share which was rejected by the retail conglomerate. The previous attempt, laid out an rejected in January, would have been valued at $5.7bn.

    Arkhouse and Brigade said on Sunday that they "remain frustrated by the delay tactics" by Macy's board, but are committed to completing the transaction.

  • Down-stream: Apple slapped with EU fine

    Apple (AAPL) has received its first ever fine from antitrust regulators in the EU today, to the tune of 1.8bn Euros (around $2bn). The smackdown is for preventing Spotify and other music streamers from touting payment options outside of its app store.

    The decision has been in the works since 2019, when Spotify argued against Apples 30% App Store fees and the payments restriction.

    "For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store," European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

    "They did so by restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,

  • Mixed morning in Europe

    Here's David Morrison, senior market analyst from Trade Nation with some analysis:

    The Euro Stoxx 50 has pushed further into record-breaking territory, while the German DAX has drifted back from its own record high from Friday. European markets keep a very close eye on what’s happening in the US.

    But in addition to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony in Washington this week and US Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday, traders will be focusing on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) rate announcement on Thursday. While the likelihood of a rate cut is minimal, market participants will keep an ear out for ECB President Christine Lagarde’s subsequent press conference in the unlikely event that she finally says something of interest.

  • Trending tickers

    Here are our trending tickers of the day, including stock to watch for in US pre-market: Bitcoin, Macy's, Apple

  • Ocado drags down FTSE

    Ocado is the top faller in the FTSE 100 today after its annual earnings report.

    The stock trading 5.3% lower in pre-lunch time trade, following news that the online grocer reported narrowing net losses of £314m, down 31% from the full-year in 2022.

    Revenue was reported as bing up to £2.8bn, a 12% increase from its full-year in 2022.

  • Here's how US futures are looking ahead of the open later on

  • Bitcoin bump

  • FTSE 100 lower: Top movers

    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown

    Here are the top fallers in the FTSE 100 this morning as it dips 0.3% lower. Ocado Group is leading declines. Taylor Wimpey takes a further knock to its share price following a warning from the CMA last week on competition fears in the housebuilding market.

    Meanwhile, on the up, mining companies:

    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
    Data: Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Manufacturing and R&D funding investment drive

    One of the policies the Treasury is trailing ahead of Wednesday is a boost in funding for research and development and manufacturing.

    The funding will go towards several companies and projects who are making cutting edge technology in sectors key to economic growth and part of wider government support to ensure the UK is the best place to start, grow and invest in manufacturing, the department said.

    The initiative will be focused on sectors that have been identified as a priority including life sciences and electric vehicle manufacture.

    This includes a £92m joint government and industry investment to expand facilities to manufacture medicines and diagnostics products.

  • High street sales continued to tank in February

    Fresh data from BDO shows UK high street sales saw their fifth consecutive month of decline in February.

    • Total in-store and online sales fell -1.3% last month.

    • In particular, the fashion sector continues to struggle with a -4.8% sales fall.

    • Retailers cited high operating costs including the cost of borrowing as one of their top challenges over the next six months.

    "Retailers are facing a perfect storm with a sustained decline in consumer spending in discretionary categories and substantial increases in their operating and borrowing costs," said Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO.

  • US markets

    Major indexes in the US finished last week on a positive note with the Nasdaq (^IXIC) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) again heading towards all-time highs.

    In the week ahead, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell's testimony on Capitol Hill and the February jobs report will put the stock market's roaring rally to the test. Updates on economic activity in the services sector and job openings are also on the schedule.

    With most of the S&P 500 done reporting earnings, Target (TGT), Costco (COST), and Kroger (KR) are three of the largest consumer-facing brands reporting corporate results in the coming week.

  • Overnight in Asia

    Asian stocks were mixed on Monday with Japan's Nikkei (^N225) 0.5% higher and the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong declining 0.1% for the session.

    Global markets have been taking cues from the US, as bets ramp up on when the Federal Reserve might start cutting its base bank rate. Data last week painted a mixed picture, with Thursday's cooling inflation data setting the tone.

  • Good morning!

    Hello from London — it's spring budget week in the UK so we are gearing up for a raft of policy announcements and analysis for when Wednesday rolls around. European and US indices finished last week on the up, Asia looks like it had a mixed day of trade. Let's get to it.

Watch: Fed won't cut interest rates in 2024, Apollo's Sløk predicts