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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Quiet day.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,529, +33.6, +0.2%
S&P 500: 1,320, +1.8, +0.1%
NASDAQ: 2,839, -10.7, +0.3%

And now the top stories:

  • China, the second largest economy and arguably the most important global growth driver in the world, reported another weak economic number.  The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI number dipped to 48.7, down from 49.3 in April.  A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
  • Citing unnamed officials, Bloomberg reported that China’s banks would miss their lending targets for the first time in seven years.  This only added to concerns that China’s economy would slow to what would eventually be a hard economic landing. “There is enormous denial over the Chinese economy,” wrote Sean Darby, Jefferies’ global equity strategist.  Darby is particularly concerned about evidence pointing to evaporating working capital in the country.  “On many ‘on-the ground’ measures of economic growth, GDP is trending well below 7 per cent,” he wrote.
  • The world continues to worry about the Greek debt crisis. In particular, people are watching for clues as to how the upcoming Greek elections will unfold.  Should the left-wing SYRIZA party gain ground, the odds of a Greek exit from the eurozone increase. In the event of a disorderly exit, oil price could plunge, writes Bank of America’s Francisco Blanch.
  • Today was the release of the first Markit US Flash PMI number, and it wasn’t bad.  The metric came in at 53.9, which suggests expansion in the industry.
  • Last night, Hewlett-Packard announced fiscal Q2 earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations.  However, the big headline was that management announced plans to cut 27,000 jobs or 8 per cent of the total headcount.
  • HP’s unexpected job cut announcement came in contrast to the relatively benign jobless claims number.  Last week, initial claims were flat at 370k, which was exactly in line with economists’ expectations.
  • Durable goods orders excluding transportation unexpectedly fell 0.6 per cent.  Economists were looking for a 0.8 per cent gain.  EXCLUSIVE: Gary Shilling Says Everyone Raving About The US Manufacturing Renaissance Is Overlooking One Key Detail >
  • Meanwhile, the Facebook IPO fail saga continues.  The Wall Street Journal revealed that Capital Research & Management and Fidelity Investment among the big investors who benefited from selectively disclosed information.  Facebook’s lead underwriter Morgan Stanley is reportedly blaming Business Insider editor Henry Blodget of playing a role in the IPO scandal.  Here Are The 25 Biggest IPOs In American History >
  • Don’t Miss: THE GLOBAL 20: The Big Trends That Are Changing The World >

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