Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
Europe Is A Disaster. The 18-country euro area showed 0.0% GDP growth in Q2, down from +0.2% in Q1 and worse than the +0.1% expected by economists. “On an annualised basis, eurozone growth is now running at a disappointing 0.4% in the first half of this year,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics Claus Vistesen. This is a major problem for Europe, where inflation is also slowing, and the U.S., which relies on the region as a source of revenue growth.
Prices Are Slowing In Europe. With no growth to support prices, inflation is tumbling. Price growth in the region fell to just 0.4% year-over-year in the region, down from 0.5% in June.
Germany Tumbles. Germany contracted by 0.2% in Q2, down from +0.7% in Q1 and worse than the 0.1% decline expected. “The slowdown in the euro area’s largest economy is jeopardizing the recovery in the region,” warned Bloomberg economists Maxime Sbaihi and Niraj Shah. Germany accounts for about 28% of the euro zone.
Yields Hit Record Low. The yield on the German 10-year bond fell below 1% for the first time in history. Low yields in Europe remind us that the current 2.4% yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is actually relatively high. In other words, those European bonds actually make U.S. bonds look cheap, meaning that yields have room to go lower.
Markets Bounce. After spending much of the morning in the red, markets are now rising. U.S. futures are in the green with Dow futures up 30 points and S&P futures are up 3 points. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE is up 0.4%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.2%, and Germany’s DAX is up 0.3%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.3%.
Cisco Is Cutting Jobs. Cisco Systems announced quarterly revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. However, guidance was weak. Management expects revenue growth to be flat to up 1%. The big headline out the announcement was that the networking equipment giant said it would cut 6,000 jobs, which represents around 8% of is workforce, this year.
Cisco Also Had Bad News About Emerging Markets. Thanks to its global footprint, Cisco is a decent bellwether of economic activity. While demand from the U.S. and Europe seem stable, things don’t look good for the emerging markets. “Latin America declined 6% with ongoing pressures in some of the largest countries including a decline of 13% in our business in Brazil,” said CEO John Chambers. “Unfortunately as we look out, we don’t see emerging markets growth for several quarters. We believe it possibly could get worse.”
Here Come Initial Jobless Claims. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the latest weekly tally of initial unemployment insurance claims. Economists estimate claims ticked up to 295,000 from 289,000 a week ago. “Claims appear to have reached a nadir at around 300k, which suggests that an acceleration in hiring will be needed to spur payroll growth,” said Nomura economists.
Wal-Mart Announces Earnings. Retail behemoth Wal-Mart will reported its Q2 financial results this morning. The company earned $US1.21 per share, which was right in line with expectations. U.S. comparable store sales excluding fuel went nowhere. Management also cut full-year guidance.
GE Could Be Selling Its Appliances. “General Electric Co.’s home appliance business has drawn interest from Sweden’s Electrolux AB and Quirky Inc., a consumer-product development startup, two people with knowledge of the matter said,” reported Bloomberg’s David Welch and Richard Clough. “The companies are in talks to buy the century-old unit that GE recently decided to try again to sell as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt focuses on industrial operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details are private. Quirky would team up with private-equity firms to acquire a majority stake, leaving GE with a minority holding, the people said. “
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