Stocks Stumble Ahead of Long Weekend

A gauge of global stocks erased this week’s gains on Thursday after underwhelming manufacturing surveys from Asia and Europe and continued weakness in U.S. healthcare shares spurred profit-taking ahead of an extended Easter holiday weekend.

The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 0.3% to wipe out its advance earlier in the week, though it still traded near six-month highs.

On Wall Street, a sell-off in healthcare shares, which have been under pressure from Democratic proposals to extend Medicare coverage to more Americans, overshadowed strong March retail sales data showing the greatest increase in 1-1/2 years.

Lackluster French and German surveys of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector for April, which showed activity continuing to contract, also prompted selling among some investors, said Darrell Cronk, chief investment officer for wealth and investment management at Wells Fargo in New York.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza