European Markets Close Slightly Higher; Weak Chinese Data Resurfaces Growth Fears

Camilla Cerea | Bloomberg via Getty Images

European markets closed marginally higher Monday, extending the positive trend seen at the close of trading last week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session fractionally above the flatline after a choppy day's trade. Food and beverages rose 0.9% to lead gains, while mining stocks fell 1.6%.

Telecom Italia rose 6% to hit the top of the benchmark following news that Italy's far-right Brothers of Italy party, which is leading polls, may take the phone company private.

Sweden's Storskogen Group closed at the bottom of the index, down almost 10%, ahead of the release of its second-quarter earnings Tuesday.

Global stocks struggled to get off the ground Monday after weak data out of China and Japan prompted fears of a broader economic slowdown.

European stocks closed higher last Friday as investors digested economic data from the region including a preliminary U.K. second-quarter GDP reading, July inflation prints out of France, Spain and Italy, and euro zone industrial production for June.

Data released from the U.K. showed the economy contracted in the second quarter of 2022 as the country's cost-of-living crisis hit home. Official figures showed that gross domestic product shrank by 0.1% quarter on quarter in the second three months of the year, less than the 0.3% contraction expected by analysts.

Also on investors' minds was cooler-than-expected U.S. inflation data out last week. The consumer price index rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, below expectations, due largely to slumping energy prices.

Meme stock rally continues on Wall Street

The retail trading frenzy around Bed Bath & Beyond continued on Wall Street Monday, with the stock gaining 12% in early trade.

The stock, which has been shorted by many large funds, is up 200% so far this month.

Nearly 50 million shares of the stock were traded by Monday morning, according to FactSet. From April to June of this year, the company had zero trading days with that much volume.

— Karen Gilchrist

Telecom Italia up 6%

Marc Hill | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Telecom Italia rose 6% in mid-afternoon trade to hit the top of the Stoxx 600. If follows news over the weekend that Italy's far-right Brothers of Italy party — which is leading polls ahead of snap elections next month — is touting a plan to take the phone company private and sell off its assets.

Meantime, Sweden's Storskogen Group fell to the bottom end of the index, dropping more than 10%, ahead of the release of its second quarter results Tuesday.

— Karen Gilchrist

U.S. stocks slump at market open

Markets opened lower Stateside as Wall Street took a breather following four weeks of consecutive gains for the S&P 500.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 169 points, or 0.5%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.46% and 0.23%, respectively.

Leading the losses on a sector-by-sector bases were energy, down more than 3%, and financials, down 1%.

Investors will be looking ahead to big retail earnings Monday, with Home Depot, Walmart and Target all expected to share more on how their businesses have been impacted by inflation and other macro pressures.

— Karen Gilchrist

Fed has won the inflation battle but not the war, strategist says

Stephen Isaacs, chairman of the investment committee at Alvine Capital, says stocks will likely see fresh lows early next year and that markets have prematurely called the "Fed pivot."

Bitcoin tops $25,000 for the first time since June before slipping

Bitcoin briefly topped $25,000 to hit its highest level in June before falling sharply as the cryptocurrency struggles to make any significant move higher.

The world's largest digital coin popped above $25,000 late on Sunday for the first time since mid-June, according to CoinDesk data.

Cryptocurrencies moved higher in the last month or so following a rise in U.S. stocks. Digital currencies like bitcoin have been relatively correlated to the movement in stock markets, in particular the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which was itself up around 12% in the last month.

- Arjun Kharpal

Uniper jumps 8.7%

Uniper shares jumped 8.7% by late morning to lead the Stoxx 600, a second consecutive rally for the German utility as it rebounds from a substantial sell-off.

The German gas market operator will on Monday announce the scale of a gas price levy on consumers, intended to aid Uniper and other gas importers contend with surging prices caused by cuts to Russian supply.

Hellofresh shares up 8% after earnings

Hellofresh shares climbed 8.5% in early trade to lead the Stoxx 600 after the German meal kit delivery company reported second-quarter earnings in line with projections.

Elsewhere, Uniper shares jumped 7.7% ahead of the German government's announcement on the size of its gas price levy.

There were no significant losses on the European blue chip index in early deals.

- Elliot Smith

CNBC Pro: Top tech investor Paul Meeks reveals whether it's time to go all-in on tech

Tech stocks were among the worst hit in the first half of the year as investors fled to safety amid a broad market-sell off. But investor interest in the sector appears to be picking up once more, begging the question — is it time to jump back into the sector?

Top tech investor and portfolio manager Paul Meeks shared his strategy for trading the sector, what he's watching in the market and his best ideas in the space.

Find out more on CNBC Pro.

— Zavier Ong

Some Aramco earnings news from the weekend

Saudi Aramco said strong market conditions helped to push its second quarter net income to $48.4 billion, up from $25.5 billion a year earlier.
Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
Saudi Aramco said strong market conditions helped to push its second quarter net income to $48.4 billion, up from $25.5 billion a year earlier.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco reported a stunning 90% surge in second quarter net income and record half-year results on Sunday, as high oil prices continue to drive historic windfalls for "Big Oil." 

Aramco said strong market conditions helped to push its second quarter net income to $48.4 billion, up from $25.5 billion a year earlier. The result easily beat analysts estimates of $46.2 billion.

"Our record second-quarter results reflect increasing demand for our products — particularly as a low-cost producer with one of the lowest upstream carbon intensities in the industry," Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said. 

Read CNBC's Dan Murphy's story on Aramco earnings here.

CNBC Pro: Fund manager says the bear market rally won't last and reveals how to position for it

Major U.S. indexes have been in a bear market — or over 20% off recent peaks — for much of this year, with the S&P posting its worst first half since 1970. In July, however, stocks have rallied, and many on Wall Street have been debating if the bear market is over.

On Friday, the S&P 500 clinched its fourth straight positive week — its longest weekly winning streak since November 2021.

Hedge fund manager David Neuhauser said however, that markets are staging a bear market rally that will not last. He explained why, and revealed how investors can position for it.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are expected to open higher on Monday with the U.K.'s FTSE seen 30 points higher at 7,531, Germany's DAX up 48 points at 12,849, France's CAC 40 up 23 points at 6,583 and Italy's FTSE MIB 68 points higher at 23,047, according to data from IG.

Earnings come from Hello Fresh and Henkel on Monday while data releases include Germany's wholesale price index for July and Ukraine's trade balance for July.

— Holly Ellyatt

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