Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mostly down in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite down 0.71%. Europe is sharply lower, and U.S. futures indicate a negative open.
- German GDP growth fell to 0.1% in the last quarter, below the 0.5% expected by analysts, and a significant decline from 1.3% GDP growth in the first quarter. This came as a huge blow because Germany is seen as the euro zone’s economic driver. Meanwhile GDP growth across the euro zone rose only 0.2%, causing the rally in European markets to fade. Now here are 7 worrisome charts on Europe >
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting in Paris today to discuss the crisis and will hold a press conference after. The leaders are expected to talk about rules for profligate spenders and proposals that move towards the direction of euro bonds, or joint borrowing, which the 13 states have thus far rejected. Don’t Miss: Everything you wanted to know about Euro bonds but were afraid to ask >
- In earnings news, Home Depot reported Q2 net income of $1.36 billion or $0.86 per share, on revenue of $20.2 billion. The company attributed better than expected earnings to sales in lawn and garden products as consumers looked to make storm-related repairs. It raised its full-year earnings guidance to $2.34 per share.
- Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has posted better than expected Q2 earnings of $1.09 per share, on sales of $108.6 billion. The retailer also raised its third quarter guidance but said its U.S. same-store sales for the quarter stayed flat. Don’t Miss: 16 facts about Wal-Mart that will blow your mind >
- July import prices rose 0.3% against expectations of a 0.1% decline, while housing starts fell less-than-expected to 604K >
- UK consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 4.4% in July, up from 4.2% the previous month. The Bank of England said inflation could run as high as 5% this year, but has kept its interest rate low in the wake of slowing economic recovery. Check out 10 hyperinflation horror stories of the 20th century >
- Dutch insurer Aegon NV has agreed to sell its U.K.-based Guardian Life unit to European firm Cinven for $451 million. Aegon which received aid from the The Netherlands during the credit crisis, is selling off its units to pay back the state.
- July industrial production rose 0.9% month-over-month, its fastest pace this year >
- President Obama, who has been criticised for doing little for the economy, is expected to announce measures to boost rural jobs today. The President is on a three day Mid-West bus tour and is expected to make stops in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.
- BONUS – Halle Berry was seen celebrating her birthday in Malibu yesterday.