Stocks dipped in Europe and Wall Street was wobbly today as investors gauged bleak news on Spain’s ability to borrow money and U.S. economic growth.
Interest rates on Spanish government bonds almost doubled to 5.11 percent, signaling an increasing lack of confidence in the troubled country’s health. And the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 2 percent in the third quarter — slower growth than the 2.5 percent uptick economists expected.
Milan’s FTSE MIB fell 1.5 percent to 14,286.06, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which tumbled 1.2 percent to 5,537.39. The CAC 40 in Paris slid 0.8 percent to 2,870.68, while the FTSE 100 in London edged down 0.3 percent to 5,206.82.
The day’s biggest retail and luxury gainers included Benetton Group, which rose 3.7 percent to 3.18 euros, and Hugo Boss, which increased 2.2 percent to 58.96 euros. Losing ground were Italian eyewear maker Marcolin, which was down 3.5 percent to 3.55 euros; Ferragamo, which tumbled 3 percent to 10.15 euros, and French Connection, which retreated 9.2 percent to 0.55 pounds.
The euro gained slightly against the dollar to $1.35 while the pound inched up to $1.57. In midday trading in the U.S., the S&P Retail Index was down 0.06 points to 514.95, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 6.96 points to 11,554.27. The market drifted between a roughly flat performance and declines as investors awaited details of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting on interest rates and policy.
Shares of Chico’s FAS Inc. dropped 15.1 percent to $9.86 after the company reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter earings. Also declining were The Talbots Inc., down 4 percent to $2.16; Sears Holdings Corp., 2 percent to $62.76, and Gap Inc., 1.2 percent to $18.27.