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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mostly up in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 1.16%. Europe is mixed and U.S. futures are lower.
- Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7% in July as payrolls fell by 40,000 from June. Retail sales also fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% from June. Meanwhile the Japanese parliament confirmed Yoshihoko Noda as prime minister. Check out the ultimate bear case on Japan >
- The Italian treasury sold €7.7 billion of bonds at an auction today. The yield on its 10-year bond was 5.22%, compared with 5.77% at the end of July. Yields have been easing since the ECB began buying Italian and Spanish bonds on August 8 but demand at the auction was lower than expected. Meanwhile, Italian business confidence unexpectedly climbed to 99.9 in August beating analyst estimates of a fall to 97.1. Don’t miss: The sad story of how Italy got to be such a wreck >
- European economic confidence in August fell to 98.3, from a revised 103 in July, its lowest level since May 2010. The sentiment among European manufacturers fell to -2.9 from 0.9 in July, while services confidence fell to 3.7 from 7.9. The debt crisis and slow growth prospects in the Euro region were blamed for the drop in confidence. Check out the most miserable countries in Europe >
- The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index edged up in June, but is still down 5.9% year-over-year. Meanwhile, consumer confidence plunged to 44.5, the lowest level since April 2009 >
- Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal have won over Macarthur Coal with the sweetened $5.2 billion offer, after the Australian coal miner failed to get a rival bid. The offer is below what Macarthur has previously said it was worth.
- JPMorgan and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. are looking to buy Indian company Future Group’s financial services arm, Future Capital Holdings. The unit is a non-bank finance company that offers consumer and mortgage loans.
- Dollar General posted Q2 adjusted net income of $181 million or $0.52 per diluted share, on revenue of $3.58 billion. Same-store sales were up 5.9% for the quarter, and the company raised its full-year same-store sales outlook to 4% – 6%. Now here are the 15 fastest growing retailers in America >
- India’s economy grew at 7.7% in the quarter ending in June, the slowest growth for 18 months. GDP growth for the quarter was down from 8.8% a year ago, as growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors fell. Higher interest rates have chipped away at the economic growth, and India’s central bank is expected to raise rates again in September to curb inflation.
- Hurricane Katia is expected to be a category 3 storm by Sunday and is expected to have a path slightly north of Irene’s. Katia is expected to have hurricane intensity by late Wednesday or early Thursday and is on course to Puerto Rico.
- BONUS – Natalie Portman was spotted returning to her apartment in New York after a work-out.