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Feb 27, 2017

European & U.S. Stock Markets Closing Report on February 27, 2017


Victor Reklaitis
European stocks closed with a small loss on Monday, as drops by Deutsche Börse AG, Direct Line Insurance Group PLC and PostNL NV weighed on the region’s main benchmark.
Investors appeared to avoid big bets ahead of a key speech Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been credited with sparking a global rally but hasn’t yet detailed his plans for boosting the world’s largest economy.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.13%  dipped by 0.1% to end at 369.52, adding to last week’s retreat. The index last week rose to its strongest level since December 2015, but then finished the week down by 0.1%.
Investors have been looking ahead to Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, in a note Monday.
“For about three weeks now markets have been awaiting further details on the so-called ‘phenomenal’ tax plan that the president promised us,” Hewson said.
Individual movers: Deutsche Börse DB11, -2.58%  and London Stock Exchange PLC’s LSE, -1.12%  shares fell by 3.8% and 1.1%, respectively, as their planned megamerger looked less likely after the LSE said late Sunday it wouldn’t sell its majority-owned fixed-income trading platform in Italy to appease antitrust concerns over the deal.
Direct Line Insurance Group PLC DLG, -7.16%  was another big loser, sliding 7.2% after the insurer said a change to a key rate will cut into its profit.
PostNL’s stock PNL, -7.36%  closed down 7.4% after the Dutch mail company reportedly delivered underlying earnings that fell short of expectations.
Associated British Foods PLC ABF, -0.92%  fell 0.9%. The company’s shares initially had risen after it projected a rise in sales at his clothing unit, Primark, but the gain evaporated.
On the upside, Bunzl PLC BNZL, +3.41%  closed higher by 3.4% after the supplier of disposable products reported a gain in full-year pretax profit.
Economic news: A February reading on economic sentiment in the eurozone showed businesses grew more optimistic about their prospects in February.
The euro EURUSD, -0.0094%  was trading at $1.0628, up from $1.0561 late Friday.
Read: 6 ways Europe could trigger market turmoil in 2017
National indexes: The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.13% rose 0.1% to close at 7,253.00, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.00%  finished roughly unchanged at 4,845.18.
See: The pound faces risk from possible 2nd Scottish referendum
Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.16%  tacked on 0.2% to end at 11,822.67.
Wall Street 
Mark DeCambre
Published: Feb 27, 2017 4:46 p.m. ET
Lucky 13! That's the history-setting mark the Dow Jones Industrial Average is on track to hit, if it finishes in positive territory on Tuesday. That would mark the 13th straight record close for the Dow DJIA, +0.08% which would represent the longest such record streak in the history of the roughly 120-year old equity benchmark, according to Dow Jones data. On Monday, the stock gauge registered its 12th straight record, finishing up 15 points, or 0.1%, at 20,837--matching the longest record streak going back to 1987. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.10% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.28% also closed higher. The moves come ahead of a highly anticipated address from President Donald Trump Tuesday night in front of a joint session of Congress, where investors hope that he will offer more details on his business-friendly policies. Equities, here and abroad, have rallied mightily since Trump's election victory in November, on the hopes that he will make good on campaign pledges to deliver tax reform, loosen regulation and back a raft of fiscal stimulus plans.