Autos and apparel makers boost European stocks, while U.S. equity futures struggle – MarketWatch

Outside view of the former La Samaritaine shopping center in Paris, owned by LVMH-Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton group, November 19, 2019.

martin bureau/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

European stocks rebounded on Friday, thanks to upbeat results from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Daimler, while U.S. equity futures turned positive on vaccine news and as investors awaited retail sales data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index

rose 0.7% to 365.63, after closing down 2% on Thursday, the biggest one-day drop since Sept. 21. The index is headed for a weekly loss of just over 1%. The German DAX

rose 0.6%, the French CAC 40

climbed 1.4% and the FTSE 100

rose 1%.

U.S. stock futures



turned higher, after a weak finish on Thursday driven by downbeat jobs data and a lack of progress over a coronavirus relief package. Retail sales, industrial production and a consumer sentiment survey are ahead in the U.S. on Friday.

Drug news was giving those markets a boost, after drugmaker Pfizer

said it may know by October if its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is effective. The company said it could apply for Emergency Use Authorization by the second half of November. Markets have endured some setbacks on the vaccine front this week, from Eli Lilly

and Johnson & Johnson

Investors remain concerned about rising coronavirus cases both in the U.S. and Europe, and the effect those are having on economies. Several European countries were forced to tighten restrictions this week, moves that included a curfew in Paris and bans on different households gathering in London.

Politics also remains a theme in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to make a statement on Friday on whether the U.K. will continue Brexit talks with the European Union, after an inconclusive summit this week.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen left the summit on Thursday afternoon, and is in quarantine after a member of her staff tested positive for COVID-19. She said she has tested negative for the virus.

The apparel sector was a leading gainer on Friday, thanks to a 6% jump in shares of CAC 40 heavyweight LVMH Moët Hennessey
The luxury-goods maker reported strong growth at its Louis Vuitton and Dior brands, partly offsetting steep declines elsewhere.

That news gave a lift to the entire sector, with shares of Hermès International

and Burberry

up 3%, and Kering

up 2.7%.

The automotive sector was also gaining, helped by a 3% rise in Daimler

shares after the German auto maker reported preliminary third-quarter earnings above market consensus, and said it expects a strong remainder of 2020.

That is as data showed passenger-car registrations rose in the European Union rose for the first time in a year in September, for a gain of 3.1%. It was, however, a mixed picture across the region, with gains in Germany and Italy, but declines in France and Spain. Renault

shares rose 1% in Paris.

And Volvo

reported better-than-expected net profit in the third quarter, due to recovering demand for truck and construction equipment. Shares rose 3%.

A top gainer for the Stoxx 600, Thyssenkrupp

shares surged 16%. The U.K.-based international industrial and metals group, Liberty House, could announce a bid for Thyssenkrupp’s loss-making steel division as soon as Friday, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

Read: German Industrial Giant Thyssenkrupp Receives Approach for Its Steel Unit. The Stock Is Up.