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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mostly up in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 1.3%. The Hong Kong market surged over 3%. Europe is mostly higher, and US futures are up modestly as well.
- Despite reports to the contrary, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says Germany opposes Euro bonds as a last ditch attempt to save the Euro. Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet tomorrow to discuss the debt crisis. Don’t Miss: 7 worrisome charts on Europe >
- The Japanese economy contracted less than expected in the quarter ending June 30. GDP shrank at an annualized 1.3%. Japan’s finance minister said officials expect expansion this quarter and are willing to take ‘bold action’ to rein in the yen. Check out the ultimate bear case on Japan >
- In M&A news, a bombshell from Google, which has agreed to buy handset maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. In another major deal, Time Warner Cable has reportedly agreed to buy The Carlyle Group’s cable operator Insight Communications Co. for about $3 billion in cash.
- The empire state manufacturing survey for August plummeted to -7.72 in August, from -3.76 in July >
- In more industries news, oil drilling company Transocean is reportedly making a $1.43 billion bid for Aker Drilling, which is double the market price. Transocean is paying 26.50 Norwegian crowns per share, a 98.5% premium to Aker’s closing price on Friday. Meanwhile, National Oilwell Varco Inc. has signed a $1.5 billion deal to supply drilling equipment for seven drill ships, to Brazil’s Estaleiro Atlantico Sul.
- Home improvement retailer Lowe’s reported Q2 net income of $830 million, or $0.64 per share, on revenue of $14.54 billion. The company’s sales were hit by weak consumer demand and bad weather, as one of the retailer’s stores in North Carolina was destroyed by a tornado.
- The National Association of Home Builders housing market index for August came in line with expectations at a depressed level of 15 >
- Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) won the Ames Iowa GOP Straw Poll, and called her victory ‘a down-payment’ on making President Obama a ‘one-term President’. But Rick Perry’s candidacy announcement took some of the attention off Bachmann’s win.
- The Swiss National Bank and the government are reportedly in ‘intense talks’ about setting a target to curb gains in the Swiss Franc. The central bank will meet Wednesday and it is being reported that officials may announce some sort of peg. For now, the Franc has faded against the dollar, after surging last week. Now here are 9 safe haven investments in case politicians destroy the U.S. economy >
- BONUS – Hilary Duff is expecting her first child with husband Mike Comrie.