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Scottish Independence Takes A Blow. A new pole revealed that 52% of Scottish voters would vote “no” for independence from the U.K. This is a reversal of last week’s pole that showed 51% of respondents saying “yes” and comes less than a week before the country’s referendum next Thursday.
Pound Surges. The British pound immediately surged, jumping against both the U.S. dollar and the euro. However, we’re not yet in the clear. “A victory by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s Yes campaign would mean a 5% to 10% slide versus the dollar within a month, said 61 per cent of the 31 respondents polled by Bloomberg Sept. 5-11,” reported Bloomberg’s Lukanyo Mnyanda, David Goodman, and Andre Tartar. “Sterling is already down 5.5% from a five-year high in July, and touched its lowest level in 10 months this week as momentum for the separatists increased. “
The US Dollar Is On A Tear. “The U.S. dollar headed for its ninth straight week of gains on Friday, some measure of how the economic fortunes of the United States and its major economic peers are diverging after six years of financial turmoil,” reported Reuters’ Catherine Evan.
We Might Be Witnessing The Final Humiliation Of The Fed Haters. “Over the last several years, anti-Fed ‘policy bears’ have been warning about how the extraordinary steps taken to juice the economy would end in disaster,” wrote Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal. “Some predicted surging interest rates. Some people predicted runaway inflation. And a lot of folks said that the Fed was murdering the dollar. Well, none of that has happened. And not only that, the dollar is one of the strongest currencies in the world.”
Markets Are Mixed. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE is up 0.4%, France’s CAC 40 is flat, and Germany’s DAX is down 0.2%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.3%. U.S. futures are just a hair above breakeven.
Apple Store Crashes. “Apple’s website collapsed under increased traffic early Friday morning after eager customers waited until midnight to order the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” reported Business Insider’s James Cook.
Carl Icahn Gets 3 Seats On Hertz. “Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has built his reputation on rebuilding companies, won three board seats at Hertz Global Holdings on Thursday, sending the car rental company’s stock price higher in after-hours trading,” reported Reuters’ Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Ankit Ajmera. “Hertz invited Icahn’s nominees onto the board less than four weeks after the New York-based investor announced that he had become the company’s biggest investor with an 8.7% stake and that he planned to push management for changes.” HTZ shares are up 3.8% in pre-market trading.
A Welcome Sign From Europe. Eurozone industrial production climbed 1.0% month-over-month in July, beating expectations for a 0.7% gain. “The eurozone industrial sector is starting the third quarter on a strong note with a significant beat of the consensus,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen.
Sales Check. The August retail sales report will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists estimate sales climbed by 0.6% in August, or 0.5% excluding autos and gas. “While retail sales growth has been softening on a month-over-month basis, we continue to see relatively strong year-over-year gains,” Wells Fargo’s John Silvia said. “The recent pickup in revolving consumer credit may help support retail sales going forward, as consumers become more comfortable relying on their credit cards again for spending amid continuing improvement in people’s views on the economy and financial standing.”
Confidence Check. The University of Michigan’s preliminary September confidence index will be released at 9:55 a.m. ET. Economists estimate this index of sentiment climbed to 83.3 in September from 82.5 in August. “With broad equity indexes near record highs and gasoline prices falling, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for early September probably will reflect some of the improvement already captured in late August,” said Credit Suisse economists. “However, the gain in the headline sentiment index probably will be mitigated by continued pessimism about future wage growth.”
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