Global Stocks Mixed as China Trade Talks, US Jobs Report Keep Investors Cautious

3 Things in the Markets to Know Right Now TheStreet’s May 5 “Investor Boot Camp” conference is coming up, and you won’t want to miss it. Quickly register here.  Food for thought from Jefferies: The large-cap Russell 2000’s price-to-earnings multiple continues to contract and at 16.6 times, is off quite considerably versus the recent peak of 20 times. It stands 7.9% above its long-term average. Via @BrianSozzi Warren Buffett reveals that he bought a whopping 75 million more shares of Apple. The tech giant is closing in on an 8% gain for the week after an upbeat earnings report on Tuesday. Apple is a holding in Action Alerts PLUS. Market Snapshot

Global stocks were mixed in early Friday trading as investors awaited developments from a key trade summit between the U.S. and and China and kept a cautious stance ahead of today’s April jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

European stocks opened relatively higher, with the Stoxx 600 benchmark 0.38% higher in morning trading as a strong set of corporate earnings around the region, outside of the banking sector, supported markets on the final trading day of the week.

HSBC Plc (HSBC) shares were a notable mover, falling 3.04% to the bottom of the FTSE 100 in London, after Europe’s biggest bank posted a weaker-than-expected set of first quarter earnings that raised questions about new focus on developing business in Asia under new CEO John Flint.

Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) shares were also on the back foot, falling 2.4% in Frankfurt and holding down gains for the DAX performance index after news late Thursday that former CEO Martin Winterkorn had been charged with conspiracy by the U.S. Department of Justice for his role in the firm’s diesel-gate scandal.  

Akamai AKAM could see some positive action after CEO Tom Leighton didn’t shut the door to a sale in an interview with TheStreet’s Executive Editor Brian Sozzi. 

U.S. equity futures were higher, with futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average pointing a 18-point jump at the opening bell while those linked to the S&P 500 suggested a 2 point gain for the broader benchmark.

Some of the slippage followed a report from the Wall Street Journal that indicated Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his heavyweight team of U.S. officials were prepared to take a strong stance on trade during their two-day summit in Beijing, demanding and immediate reduction of China’s quarter-to-date $58.25 billion trade surplus, the reduction of import tariffs and a vow not to retaliate towards American agricultural goods.

The U.S. dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was modestly weaker at 92.43 in early European trading and moving largely in-line with a pullback in U.S. Treasury bond yields, which slipped in the latter part of the week following a dovish reading of the Federal Reserve’s statement on interest rates and news of higher sizes for benchmark bond auctions in the years ahead.

Overnight in Asia, many key markets — including Japan — remained closed for the traditional Golden Week holiday celebrations, which kept many investors on the sidelines and reduced liquidity around the region and pulled the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was marked 0.5% lower into the close of the session.

Global oil prices also retreated for a second consecutive session, following news of record U.S. production earlier this week and surprise increases in domestic crude stocks.

Brent crude contracts for July delivery, the global benchmark, were seen 28 cents lower from their Thursday close in New York and changing hands at $76.62 per barrel while WTI contracts for June fell 17 cents a barrel to $67.26.