Stocks slipped today as investors kept close watch on the delicate politics of the debt deal in Europe and U.S. job growth fell short of expectations in October.
Frankfurt’s DAX and Milan’s FTSE MIB both declined 2.7 percent, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which fell 2.3 percent. The FTSE 100 in London fared best of all, falling just 0.3 percent. Europe’s markets reflected the uncertainty surrounding the Greek government, which faced a vote of confidence as well as a meeting of the financial chiefs of 20 of the world’s largest economies in Cannes.
In the retail and luxury sectors, the day’s biggest gainers included Hermes, which ticked upward 3.1 percent on the back of a 16 percent rise in third-quarter sales, and Marks & Spencer, which rose 1.4 percent. Among the stocks losing ground were Safilo, which fell 5.5 percent; Aeffe, which was down 4.8 percent; French Connection, which sank 3.3 percent, and Yoox, which retreated 3.2 percent.
In the U.S., the S&P Retail Index fell 0.4 percent, or 1.97 points, to 538.93, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped below 12,000, decreasing 0.5 percent, or 61.23 points, to 11,983.245, as markets settled. Among the retail decliners were high-end chains such as Nordstrom Inc., down 1.4 percent to $50.35; Coach Inc., 0.9 percent to $65.07, and Tiffany & Co., 0.8 percent to $77.94.
Shares of Groupon Inc. gained 30.6 percent to $26.11 in the deal company’s first day on the public markets.
The Labor Department said the economy added just 80,000 jobs last month, about 20,000 fewer new jobs than economists projected.
But it is Europe that continues to drive investor sentiment.
After a week of turmoil and an abrupt about-face over its decision to hold a referendum on the European Union bailout measures, Greece’s government will face a confidence vote today. It is likely to lose, with a coalition government taking its place and pushing through new austerity measures and tax cuts.
Meanwhile, while the G20 leaders agreed to fortify the International Monetary Fund, the countries gave no specific details about their plans.