Here is what you need to know.
Japan’s exports crashed. The strong Japanese yen caused exports to crash 14% year-over-year, their sharpest drop since 2009. But, Japan’s trade surplus expanded to 513 billion yen ($5.1 billion) as imports tumbled almost 25%. The Japanese yen is little changed near 100.30 per dollar.
The Fed is worried about a couple of things. The minutes from the July FOMC meeting had a little bit of everything, suggesting the Fed still isn’t sure when the next rate hike will occur. While there were a number of positives, the Fed suggested it is particularly worried about Italian banks and stretched valuations in the commercial real estate market here in the US.
UK retail sales surged after Brexit. Consumers in the UK didn’t let Brexit impact their spending habits as retail sales climbed 1.4% month-over-month in July, easily beating the 0.2% gain that economists had forecast. The data was a bit of an outlier as most has shown a sign of slowing post-Brexit vote. The British pound is stronger by 0.9% at 1.3158.
Euro area inflation was in line. According to Eurostat, inflation in the euro area rose 0.2% in July, up from 0.1% in June. Belgium (+2.0%) saw the hottest reading in the euro area while Slovakia (-0.9%) saw the coolest. The euro is higher by 0.3% at 1.1321.
Australia’s jobs report beat. The Australian economy added 26,000 jobs in July, outpacing the 10,000 jobs gain that was expected. While the number looks good on the surface, full-time employment fell by 45,400 jobs while part-time employment increased by 71,600. Australia’s unemployment rate slipped to 5.7%. The Australian dollar is up 0.5% at .7692.
Cisco is cutting jobs. The company announced adjusted earnings of $0.63 per share on a 2% jump in revenue to $12.64 billion. Both numbers were ahead of estimates. Additionally, Cisco said it will eliminate 5,500 jobs, or 7% of its workforce, well below the 14,000 job cuts that were reported on Tuesday.
American Apparel is reportedly trying to sell itself. Six months after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the retailer has hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey to look into a sale, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. “As we have regularly communicated to employees, vendors and customers, we continuously evaluate strategic alternatives,” American Apparel said in a statement.
Stock markets around the world are mixed. Germany’s DAX (+0.5%) leads the way up in Europe after Japan’s Nikkei (-1.6%) lagged in Asia. S&P 500 futures are little changed at 2,179.50.
Earnings reporting is light. Hormel Foods, Walmart, and MSG Networks will report ahead of the opening bell while Ross Stores and Gap release their quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data trickles out. Initial jobless claims and the Philly Fed will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 1.55%.