U.S. stocks are trading slightly lower to flat as China continued to drop the amount of money its banks need to hold in reserves and the Group of 20 economic meeting failed to deliver any firm measures.
The S&P 500 is down by 1 point to 1,946, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 16 points to 16,624 and the Nasdaq declined by 1 point to 4,591. The S&P Retail ETF rose by 5 cents to $43.40.
China’s central bank cut its reserve requirement ratio for banks for the fifth time in a year. The result was an injection of $100 billion in the economy, which caused the yuan to fall further. China hosted the G-20 meeting, where it said it wouldn’t devalue the yuan any further and then did just that. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2.9 percent.
The European markets are lower across the board mostly due to the moves out of China and a lack of strategic measures from the G-20 meeting. There were also economic reports that showed a decline in inflation. Falling prices will weigh on economies that can’t afford to pay high wages if they can’t get higher prices for their goods.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $3.63, which was higher than the FactSet estimate of $3.58 and an increase of 20 percent. Same-store sales for the fourth quarter increased 4.9 percent, but the company did not report the amount. Signet did say that the company approved an 18 percent increase in the dividend and a new share purchase authorization of $750 million. The Bermuda-based company said it also identified more synergies from its acquisition of Zales. The stock popped by 12 percent to $112.02.
Looking ahead, Crocs Inc. will report its earnings after the market closes. The FactSet estimate is for a loss of 33 cents a share for the fourth quarter on sales of $202 million. The stock has dropped 12 percent for the past year, but was rising by 5 cents to $9.82 in early trading.