S&P 500 gains on Microsoft buyback as Treasuries rise, oil falls

Buybacks

Authorized U.S. buybacks have reached a six-year high of $556 billion this year, data from Birinyi Associates Inc. show.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5% after yesterday climbing to the highest level in more than five years. The U.K. government sold a 3.2 billion-pound ($5.1 billion) stake in Lloyds Banking Group Plc, while Schaeffler AG and its holding company raised about 950 million euros ($1.3 billion) selling 4% in Continental AG. Lloyds lost 3.5% and Continental, Europe’s second-largest auto-parts maker, fell 3.1%.

‘Good Time’

“After the big move we saw yesterday, it only makes sense that we see a pull-back today and that investors see it as a good time to sell,” said Dirk Thiels, who helps oversee the equivalent of $87 billion as head of investment management at KBC Asset Management NV in Brussels.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was little changed near a three-month high. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong slid 0.5%. Russia’s Micex increased 0.2% and South Korea’s Kospi retreated 0.4% while Brazil’s Ibovespa added 0.3%.

Foreign-direct investment in China rose 0.6% last month, compared with the median estimate of 12.5% growth in a Bloomberg survey.

“We’ve gone past the sweet spot in equities and the easy gains are behind us,” Nader Naeimi, the Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages more than $130 billion, said by phone. “The task for the Federal Reserve is still a hard one.”

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