Markets Are Heading South After Bad Data In The UK And Italy

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An early rally in Europe has reversed, lead by Spain down 0.8%.At 4 EST Italy reported a 0.3% decline in November retail sales versus expectations for a 0.1% decline.

At the same time Germany reported a greater than expected rise in business confidence for January.

At 4:30 EST the UK reported a 0.2% decline in last quarter’s GDP, versus a 0.1% expected decline.

Also the BOE voted unanimously to hold rates steady. Some BOE members said further asset purchases are likely. The Bank also said inflation risk is slowing sharply and that in the euozone the ECB has been effective into reducing the risk of severe outcomes.

European markets were also weighed down by reports of sharp profit declines by Ericsson AB and Novartis AG.

Meanwhile Dow futures have slipped negative, losing after-hour gains produced by Apple’s blowout.