Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets had an uneven day. The Nikkei closed down -1.45%, but Australia’s ASX 200 finished up +0.10%. European markets have turned higher after a rough started, led by London’s FTSE at +0.55%.
- European Union-wide unemployment in June fell to 10.9% from 11.0%, the first decline since Jan. 2011. The rate dropped in 17 of the (then — Croatia just joined) 27 member states, according to WSJ. In Germany retail sales unexpectedly fell 1.5%, the biggest one-month drop since December.
- A battery of important economic data comes out today, starting with the July ADP report at 8:15 am, which is expected to have declined to 179,000 from 188,000 in June. Then we get our first look at Q2 GDP, expected to come in at +1.0% compared with +1.8% in Q1. Lots of analysts are saying there’s a strong chance it’ll be on the bearish end of the 0.4% to 2.0% range noted by Econoday, in part as a result of sequestration. Finally, Chicago PMI for July will print at 9:45 am; Econoday expects 54.0 against 51.6 June.
- At 2 pm we get an FOMC announcement. The dollar is climbing this morning on speculation the Fed will re-assert its intention to taper asset purchases, Bloomberg says.
- The week’s most important print will come Friday, when the BLS announces non-farm payrolls for July. In a note today, Morgan Stanley says there’s good reason to be bullish on the data based on Tuesday’s consumer confidence data. “The percentage of respondents saying jobs are currently ‘plentiful’ rose to 12.2% from 11.3%, and the percentage saying jobs are “hard to get” fell to 35.5% from 37.1%. That left the net result on this question 2.5pp higher at -23.3%, high since September 2008. This question matches up well with trends in actual labour market conditions over time, so these results were a positive indication for the July employment report.”
- MasterCard, Whole Foods, Burger King, Marriott and Hyatt announce earnings today.
- CNBC’s Maneet Ahuja reports Bill Ackman has taken his largest-ever position, a 9.8% stake worth $2.2 billion in a company called Air Products International, which supplies industrial products and components to wholesales businesses. She adds it has “few real competitors.” The stake comes as Ackman struggles with his short Herbalife position.
- European aerospace group EADS will rename itself Airbus and consolidate its defence units in a move the FT says will “streamline its clumsy multinational structure and underscore the predominance of its commercial aircraft operations.” The paper quoted CEO Tom Enders that defence will see a “flat or shrinking market at least for the rest of the decade.”
- Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign continued to melt down after an aide called a former intern a lot of really R-rated words to a Talking Points Memo reporter, then told our Brett LoGiurato that she thought the comments were off the record. In case you missed it, the latest Quinnipiac poll showed Weiner has dropped from 1st to 4th place for September’s Democratic primary.
- It could be worse: the city of San Diego has sued its own mayor, the fallout from a sex scandal. Officials hope to recovery any anticipated settlement losses over allegations Bob Filner made inappropriate sexual advances toward seven different women.
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