U.S. stocks pare losses as emerging currencies, copper decline

Stocks pared losses, while Treasuries rose amid a slump in emerging-market currencies. Copper fell for an eighth day, the longest streak since December 1998.

The S&P 500 (CME:SPH14) slipped 0.1% as of 2:38 p.m. in New York, trimming an earlier drop of 1.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.3%. The Treasury 10-year (CBOT:ZNH14) rate fell three basis points to 2.66%, while Germany’s 30-year yields reached the lowest since August. Argentine dollar bonds dropped and Hungary’s forint plunged for a third day. The yen strengthened against the dollar, heading for its biggest monthly advance since April 2012. U.S. natural gas (NYMEX:NGH14) declined 2.6%.

About $1.8 trillion has been erased from the value of equities worldwide this month as China’s economy slows and the Federal Reserve further cut stimulus. U.S. consumer confidence declined in January, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment, and companies from Amazon.com Inc. to Mattel Inc. gave disappointing earnings reports.

“This week, we’ve seen synchronized volatility in the markets, with very weak currencies and disappointing Chinese manufacturing figures,” said Christian Stocker, a senior strategist at UniCredit Bank AG in Munich. “We need an increase in earnings momentum to see stock prices go higher.”

U.S. benchmark indexes are headed for their first monthly decline since August. Earlier this week, the Fed decided to reduce its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion. Three rounds of U.S. monetary stimulus helped the S&P 500 rise as much as 173% from a 12-year low in 2009.

Earnings Season

Amazon slumped 9.5%, the biggest intraday drop in two years, after the world’s largest Web retailer reported profit and sales that trailed analysts’ estimates. Mattel sank 13% after a drop in Barbie doll sales weighed on results.

Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results this earnings season, 79% beat analysts’ estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Google Inc. climbed 4% after its quarterly sales topped projections. Zynga Inc. surged 21% after the maker of “FarmVille” announced it will cut staff and buy a mobile- game developer.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final January index of consumer sentiment fell to 81.2 from 82.5 a month earlier, a report showed today. The median forecast of 68 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for 81 after a preliminary reading of 80.4.

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