WORLD

Stock market today: Asian stocks lower after Wall Street holds steady near record highs

Feb 26, 2024, 10:23 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian markets were mostly lower on Wednesday after U.S. stocks held near their record levels in a quiet day of trading.

U.S. futures and oil prices fell.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.1% lower to 39,230.50.

Chinese markets fluctuated, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising 0.2% to 16,825.00, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.7% to 2,995.40.

China’s largest private property developer, Country Garden, said Wednesday that it is facing a liquidation petition after failing to repay a term loan facility worth 1.6 billion Hong Kong dollars ($204.5 million). The first hearing in the case is scheduled for May 17.

The move comes after China Evergrande, the world’s most heavily indebted real estate developer, was ordered to undergo liquidation following a failed effort to restructure $300 billion in late January.

Hong Kong was due to release its fiscal budget, which is expected to include measures to revitalize the distressed property market.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 7,663.50 after the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday the country’s inflation rate held at a two-year low in January, triggering hopes that the Reserve Bank may cut its benchmark interest rate.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.8% to 2,646.55, while Thailand’s SET was down 0.5%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 added 0.2%, to 5,078.18 and was just off its all-time high set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2%, to 38,972.41, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4% to 16,035.30.

Macy’s climbed 3.4% after reporting better results for the latest quarter than feared. It also announced a sweeping reorganization as it tries to kickstart growth in revenue.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings steamed 19.8% higher for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after saying it’s seeing healthy demand from customers.

AutoZone revved 6.7% higher after reporting a stronger profit than expected. Much of its growth last quarter came from its stores in Mexico and Brazil.

Zoom Video Communications climbed after topping analysts’ forecasts for profit last quarter. It also announced a program to buy back up to $1.5 billion of its stock, which would send cash directly to shareholders.

Those winners helped offset a 1.5% drop for Chevron, one of the main reasons for the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s slide. The company warned that its pending takeover of Hess may be under threat.

Cryptocurrency prices have also been running higher. Bitcoin rose above $57,000 before edging back below the threshold and is up by roughly a third so far this year already.

New exchange-traded funds that hold bitcoin have made investing in the cryptocurrency easier, while also driving business for Coinbase and others who safeguard those ETFs’ bitcoins. Coinbase rose 2.7% Tuesday to bring its gain for the year so far to 14.5%.

Earnings reporting season is winding down for the big companies in the S&P 500, and the hope is that a remarkably solid U.S. economy will help profits grow through this year.

A report in Tuesday morning showed orders for long-lasting manufactured goods were weaker last month than economists expected, but they were better than forecast after ignoring airplanes and other transportation items.

A separate report said that confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly slipped. Confidence had been on the upswing, and it’s a closely followed figure on Wall Street because spending by consumers makes up the bulk of the U.S. economy.

On the upside for investors, the report also showed that expectations for inflation among U.S. consumers ticked down a bit.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 29 cents to $78.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, was down 30 cents at $82.36 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar was flat at 150.50 Japanese yen. The euro fell to $1.0834 from $1.0844.

World

Associated Press

Assault on US avocado inspectors in Mexican state led to suspension of inspections

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two employees of the United States Agriculture Department were assaulted and temporarily held by assailants in the Mexican state of Michoacan, prompting the U.S. government to suspend inspections of avocado and mango shipments, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said Tuesday. Amb. Ken Salazar said in a statement that the assault occurred […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: World shares mostly gain after Wall St rallies to new records

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mostly higher in Europe and Asia on Tuesday after U.S. stocks rallied to more records, with gains for technology companies pushing the benchmarks higher. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.4% to 18,135.67, while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4% to 7,600.86. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 8,175.37. The […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

India and US vow to boost defense, trade ties in first high-level US visit since Modi’s election win

NEW DELHI (AP) — India and the United States on Monday pledged to boost defense and technology cooperation and remove long-standing barriers to bilateral strategic trade, following a meeting between the national security advisers of both countries. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is on a two-day visit to the Indian capital, New Delhi, the first […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

US suspends inspections of avocados, mangoes in Mexico’s Michoacan state over security concerns

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States government has suspended inspections of avocados and mangoes in the Mexican state of Michoacan due to security concerns, an official said Monday. A U.S. government spokesperson, whose name could not be used under agency policy, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is […]

20 hours ago

Associated Press

Before his summit with North Korea’s Kim, Putin vows they’ll beat sanctions together

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked North Korea for supporting his actions in Ukraine and said their countries will cooperate closely to overcome U.S.-led sanctions as he headed to Pyongyang on Tuesday for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Putin’s comments appeared in an op-ed piece in North […]

22 hours ago

Associated Press

North Korea says Russian President Putin will arrive in the North on Tuesday

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean state media says Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in the country on Tuesday for a two-day visit. Putin is expected to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for talks focused on expanding military cooperation as they deepen their alignment in the face of separate, intensifying confrontations […]

1 day ago

Stock market today: Asian stocks lower after Wall Street holds steady near record highs