Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei falling 0.55%. Europe is mostly lower, while US futures are up.
- Bond buying by the European Central Bank is still having its desired effect. The Spanish treasury sold €4.15 billion of 12 month treasury bills, and €1.54 billion of 18-month bills, and yields on both bills fell during the sale. Greece sold its short-term treasury bills at lower yields, and Italian 10-year yield fell below 5% earlier today. Meanwhile, the reaction to yesterday’s Merkel and Sarkozy press conference is mostly negative, but not disastrous.
- Contrary to some hopes, the Swiss National Bank avoided direct intervention or any currency peg. Instead the bank said it would boost liquidity in the money markets by increasing its sight deposits to 200 billion Swiss francs, from the existing 120 billion. The market was disappointed on the news and the dollar fell sharply against the Franc. Don’t Miss: The only currencies that have outperformed gold this year >
- In earnings news, retailer Staples announced Q2 net income of $176.4 million, or $0.25 per share, on revenue of $5.82 billion, beating Wall Street estimates. The company also gave a full-year earnings guidance that was higher than Street estimates.
- Agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co. posted Q3 net income of $712.3 million or $1.69 per share, on overall revenue of $8.372 billion. Earnings were up from $617 million a year ago. The global food boom is still on for now.
- Headline PPI in July grew 0.2%, while core PPI rose 0.4%
- After the bell yesterday, Dell earnings came in pretty weak and the stock fell. Amusingly, the company lowered its revenue outlook, while raising its income outlook.
- SABMiller launched a hostile A$9.5 billion takeover bid for Australian brewer Foster’s after the company’s board refused to go to the negotiating table. SABMiller said it would present its A$4.90 per share cash bid directly to Foster’s shareholders.
- Iceland’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since its financial collapse in 2008. Interest rates were pushed up by 25 basis points to 4.5%, and the bank warned of further rate hikes, after inflation hit a 13-month high.
- The UK unemployment problem continues to be bad, as the headline rate jumped to 7.9%. The number of unemployed people rose by 38,000 to 2.49 million. Meanwhile, youth unemployment is now at 20.2%. Check out 15 rich countries facing a huge unemployment problem >
- BONUS – Julia Roberts was spotted on holiday with her family in Hawaii.