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Overview of the markets

Andrew

There were mixed performances across European stocks during Tuesday’s trading session, with marginal gains in Germany’s DAX, whilst the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed 0.2% lower.

Greece’s Athex Composite index slumped 1.2% to 659.94 to its lowest close since September 2012. The benchmark started trading for the first time in five weeks on Monday. The country’s banks were hardest hit in yesterday’s trading with National Bank of Greece SA falling 28%, whilst Piraeus Bank SA and Alpha Bank both plunged 30%.

In Germany shares of BMW AG dropped 1.3% after the German car maker reported a decline in second-quarter profit due to fierce competition and expressed worries about lack of demand coming out of China.

In London the FTSE closed flat swinging between small gains and losses through most of the day. The Index was led by shares of Meggitt PLC which surged 7.9% after the engineering company backed its full-year guidance and reported a rise in first-half earnings.

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street edged lower overnight, as the possibility of a hike in U.S. interest rates as early as next month lifted the dollar and bond yields.

The latest “scare” over U.S rates came when Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart told the Wall Street Journal that it would take "significant deterioration" in the economy for him to not support a hike in September.

One of the biggest movers in the US Markets was Walt Disney Co which fell in the aftermarket trading after posting third-quarter sales that fell short of analysts’ estimates and cutting its forecast for cable TV profit. Disney, the top performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, said operating income will be reduced by $500 million next year as a result of the strong dollar. The stock slumped as much as 6.5 percent to $113.75 after results were announced late Tuesday.

On a more upbeat note, Netflix Inc., the pioneering online video service, rose 7.6 percent to a new closing high after Guggenheim Securities recommended the stock with a price target of $160, the most of any analyst covering the company. Netflix closed at $121.15 in New York. The stock was already the top performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and has gained 148 percent this year.

In Europe today, Société Générale SA stated that second-quarter net profit jumped 25%, lifted by the performance of its large equity and derivatives trading business and a debt valuation adjustment.

The Paris-based lender, France’s third-largest listed bank by assets, said net profit rose to EUR1.35 billion in the three months through June, from EUR1.08 billion a year earlier.

Fitbit, Tesla, Lumber Liquidators will come into the spotlight today as they are among the stocks likely to make notable moves during Wednesday trading. Fitbit went public in late June and has been soaring since, whilst Wendy’s and Tesla headline their quarterly results.

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