By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
Infineon, Heineken, Peugeot among stocks on the move
European stock markets struggled on Wednesday, with the tech sector weighing on them after a downbeat outlook from Texas Instruments hit the chip industry's recovery hopes.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index slipped 0.2% to 394.04, after closing up 0.09% to 394.59 on Tuesday. On Monday, the index closed at the highest level since May 22, 2018.
The German DAX was flat at 12761 and the French CAC 40 fell 0.4% to 5634.43. The U.K. FTSE 100 bucked the trend with a 0.4% gain to 7238.90. The index was lifted by a weaker pound , which fell 0.1% to $1.2856 as investors absorbed the latest Brexit developments.
Lawmakers approved a measure advancing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday, but rejected a three-day approval timetable proposed by the government to meet the Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union. While analysts said chances of a no-deal exit are less likely, a lengthy delay could mean fresh elections for the country and more uncertainty.
But the bigger focus for Europe was a hefty earnings miss from Texas Instruments, which announced a new revenue estimate range that was as much as a half-billion dollars below Wall Street's consensus forecast. Investors have been driving up chip stocks over the past few months on hopes that a turnaround was coming for the sector.
Opinion:Texas Instruments tanks the chip sector and investors' hopes for a rebound
"TI is generally viewed as one of the more stable companies in the tech world, so I think this is a bit of a warning shot for anyone that owns any of the popular tech stocks," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist for AxiTrader, told MarketWatch.
Chip-maker losses in Europe were led by Germany's Infineon Technologies and French-Italian STMicroelectronics, with both down around 2%. Dutch ASML (ASML.AE) fell 1%, while software stocks such as SAP (SAP.XE) dropped 1.3%.
U.S. stock futures were modestly lower, after the S&P 500 dropped 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7% on Tuesday . More big earnings are on tap for Wednesday, including Caterpillar, the maker of construction and mining equipment, (CAT) and aircraft manufacturer Boeing
Also lower were shares of Heineken, after the beer maker reported a rise in nine-month net profit , but guided slightly lower for full-year organic operating profit.
Shares of ABB jumped 3.6% after the Swiss industrial group posted lower net profit and revenue as weak market conditions affected its robotics and automation business. However, the company sees improved operating margins for the full year.
Shares of Peugeot rose 2% after the French auto maker reported higher revenue for the third quarter, which it said was boosted by launches of new models.
Akzo Nobel jumped 2% after the Dutch paintmaker announced a EUR500 million ($556 million) share buyback plan and higher operating income.