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We got massive wave of July economic data, and overall it was good.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 15,624.5, +125.0, +0.8%
  • S&P 500: 1,707.1, +21.4, +1.2%
  • NASDAQ: 3,675.3, +48.9, +1.3%

And now, the top stories:

  • Stocks closed at all-time highs today.
  • It’s the first of the month, which means we got the manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) reports from every major economy in the world. And the big picture is becoming clear: the emerging Asian economies are slowing while the struggling European economies are coming back.
  • Manufacturing reports from Italy, France, Germany, and Greece all improved. The Eurozone composite index climbed to 50.3 in July from 48.8 a month ago. This was the first time this index was above 50 in two years.
  • Yesterday, manufacturing reports from China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia all reflected decelerating growth or outright contraction. China’s official NBS PMI actually climbed to 50.3 in July from 50.1 a month ago. But the unofficial HSBC PMI, which is more exposed to small and export-driven companies, fell to 47.7. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.
  • The U.S. continues to be in good shape. The ISM’s manufacturing index surged to 55.4 in July from 50.9. Economists were looking for a reading of 52.0.  Of note, the employment sub-index jumped to 54.4 from 48.7 a month ago.
  • Initial weekly jobless claims fell to 326,000, the lowest level since January 2008. Economists were looking for a print of 345,000. “We suggest taking the latest reading with a grain of salt as the Labour Department may be having some trouble seasonally adjusting the data,” warned TD Securities’ Gennadiy Goldberg.

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