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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Following yesterday’s explosive up-move in US markets, Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.2%. Europe is in the green after ECB released lending data showing that banks didn’t face liquidity issues. US markets are pointing solidly higher.
- Also helping things in Europe: France, Spain, Italy and Belgium have begun a ban on short-selling today. France has banned short-sales of 11 stocks including Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse, that were dragging the CAC down yesterday. France is up about 2% today.
- More news of faltering recovery in Europe, as France’s GDP growth remained flat in the April – June period, against a 0.9% rise in the first quarter. The 0% growth was attributed to a 0.7% drop in household consumption.
- Meanwhile, Greece’s economy contracted 6.9% in the second quarter, but the figure is not based on seasonally adjusted data. Check out the updated guide to Europe’s impending debt disaster >
- The Italian cabinet is meeting today to approve new measures to balance the budget by 2013, in a bid to ease concerns about the nation’s public finances. This comes after Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti’s call for strong measures to balance the budget yesterday. Don’t Miss: The sad story of how Italy got to be such a wreck >
- July retail sales came in line with expectations up 0.5%, and ex-autos and gasoline was up 0.3% >
- In earnings news, Nordstrom posted Q2 earnings of $175 million or $0.80 per share, on revenue of $2.72 billion. The company also raised its full-year profit outlook.
- GOP candidates faced-off at an eight-candidate debate, in Ames, Iowa late last night. Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann had the most heated exchanges during the debate, while Mitt Romney directed his criticism at President Obama.
- Consumer sentiment data for August fell to 54.9, its lowest reading since May 1980 >
- It has been reported that Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan met privately with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve governor Daniel Tarullo this week, as part of the bank’s attempt to calm investor and employee concerns about its recent share slump. Check out the 16 strongest banks in the world >
- BONUS – Eva Longoria and George Lopez toasted their unemployment on air, as both their shows were cancelled.