Oct. 2, 2014 photo shows a Wall Street sign adjacent to the
New York Stock Exchange, in New York. Earnings gains from
General Motors, 3M and other big companies are driving
stocks sharply higher in early trading Thursday, Oct. 23,
Korea — Global stock markets retreated Friday as the first case
of Ebola in New York overshadowed positive economic news.
Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 6,404.55 and Germany's DAX
dropped 0.2 percent to 9,032.53. France's CAC 40 declined 0.3
percent to 4,147.43. Dow Jones futures fell 0.1 percent to 16,599,
erasing some of the losses from earlier in the day. S&P 500
futures dropped 0.2 percent to 1,942.10.
The announcement of the first confirmed case of Ebola in New York
offset upbeat news about the economy and business, such as healthy
earnings reports in the U.S. and a better-than-expected purchasing
managers' index from the European Union. South Korea's third
quarter growth slowed to 3.2 percent but a rebound in consumer
spending was a positive sign to the economy.
CASE FILE: An
emergency room doctor who returned to New York after treating
Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus,
Mayor Bill de Blasio said. It's the first case in the city and the
fourth in the U.S. The mayor said there's no reason for residents
to be alarmed and all city officials followed "clear and
strong" protocols in their handling and treatment of the man.
Governments have been increasing safeguard measures as Ebola rages
in a handful of West African nations, fearing significant human
and economic costs if the deadly epidemic spreads.
"The level of attention traders pay to Ebola could increase
from here," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG
in Melbourne, Australia. "It's also interesting to see the
startling correlation between the VIX (stock price volatility
index) and the level of Ebola quotes in mainstream publications.
ASIA'S DAY: Asian
markets were mostly higher until the news of the Ebola case. Hong
Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.1 percent at 23,302.20 and Seoul's
Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,925.69. But Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1
percent to 15,291.64 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.5
percent to 5,412.20.
FED MEETING: The
focus of investors will increasingly turn to next week's Federal
Reserve policy meeting for confirmation the U.S. central bank is
ending its bond buying program; the policy has kept interest rates
low to support economic recovery but also boosted stock markets as
investors sought higher returns. Recent mixed signals about the
strength of the U.S. recovery prompted speculation the Fed might
let the program continue for longer.
U.S. crude was down 64 cents at $81.45 a barrel in electronic
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange; it jumped Thursday on
reports of lower production in Saudi Arabia and signs of strength
in the U.S. economy. Brent crude was down 56 cents at $86.27 on
the ICE futures exchange in London.
euro fell to $1.2639 from $1.2650. The dollar slipped to 108.11
yen from 108.17 yen.