By Avantika Chilkoti 

U.S. stock futures and European equities wavered Monday as corporate earnings and the prospect of general elections in the U.K. weighed on investors.

Stock futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.4%.

Ahead of the New York opening bell, shares in Tiffany surged 29% after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton confirmed it's talks for a potential takeover that would value the iconic jewelry brand at $14.5 billion. Shares in LVMH gained 0.2% in Paris trading.

Microsoft gained 2.7% in premarket trading after the software company won a contract worth up to $10 billion over the next decade from the Pentagon.

Investors are braced for a slew of corporate results later Monday with companies including Beyond Meat and Alphabet due to report.

The lack of growth in corporate third-quarter earnings is largely because the three-month period a year earlier was unusually strong, said Esty Dwek, a strategist at Natixis Investment Managers. Fast-moving geopolitical events are also holding back corporate performance, she said.

"It's a confirmation that there's a lot of uncertainty, and the more you can remove some of this uncertainty the more you'll have better guidance and confidence in terms of hiring and investing," Ms. Dwek said.

Meanwhile, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index was mostly flat. HSBC Holdings was among the biggest losers in Europe, shedding 4% after the bank dropped its main financial target and said it would speed up plans to revamp its U.K., U.S. and European businesses.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gauge was mostly flat as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged lawmakers to support his push for a Dec. 12 general election as a way to clear a path to Brexit. European Union leaders agreed to a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline, extending the political uncertainty until Jan. 31. The British pound was also mostly flat against the dollar.

The decision marks the third time Brexit has been extended this year.

"You could see elections as a second referendum, so if Johnson does win a majority it is a vote for Brexit to happen and his deal to go through, " said Ms. Dwek.

The yield on 10-year Italian government debt rose to 0.971% from 0.948% Friday following preliminary results from local elections this weekend. The results will allow center-right political leaders to campaign against the current administration in a bid to boost their popularity, according to analysts at UniCredit.

Asian markets had a stronger start to the week. The Shanghai Composite Index gained almost 0.9% and Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.8%.

The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose to 1.835%, its highest level since mid-September as investors anticipate the Federal Reserve will deliver another 25 basis point cut.

"Recent softer U.S. data would justify the cut," Barclays analysts said in a note to clients. "However, the temporary easing of global risks reduces the need for further insurance, and the Fed could signal more willingness to follow a "meeting-by-meeting" approach."

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at Avantika.Chilkoti@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 28, 2019 08:41 ET (12:41 GMT)

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