REUTERS/Susana VeraTwo scrap dealers sleep on a mattress at the entrance to a former Bankia-Caja Madrid bank branch in Madrid August 12, 2013. The sign reads, ‘retail space available’.
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were higher in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 2.6%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng advanced 1.2%, and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%. European markets are trading higher, with the German DAX leading the way, currently up 0.8%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- The U.K. RICS home-price index suggests that prices rose to their highest level in seven years in July. The index increased to 36 in July from 21 in June. Economists had predicted a much smaller advance to 24.
- Overnight, the Bank of Japan released the minutes from its July 10-11 policy meeting. The minutes revealed concern on the board of governors over the fiscal position of the Japanese government. Some on the board weighed in on the controversial consumption tax hike scheduled for April, saying it was important that the administration sticks to the timetable for hiking the tax.
- Machine orders fell 2.7% in June following a 10.5% advance in May. Economists predicted a larger drop of 7%. “In this ongoing economic recovery led by Abenomics, recovery in capital investment should come in the last stage, perhaps in 2H 2014 or later,” says Deutsche Bank economist Mikihiro Matsuoka. “One-year JPY depreciation does not seem sufficient to induce domestic capital investment. Unless Japanese companies regain their long-term confidence in the Japanese economy, they probably will not see enough incentives to increase domestic capital investment.”
- German consumer prices rose 1.9% year over year in July, unchanged from the month before and right in line with estimates. “Looking at the components of the national CPI measures released by Destatis, the pressures came from the food prices which accelerated from 4.7% [year over year] to 5.1% [year over year], adding 4 [basis points] to the headline yearly rate,” says Société Générale economist Herve Amourda. “On the downside, the seasonal effects were slightly more marked this July, as both the ‘clothing’ and the ‘recreational and culture’ components decelerated, cutting 8 [basis points] to the headline rate.”
- The German ZEW survey of economic sentiment revealed that the index of confidence rose to 42.0 in August from 36.3 in July. Economists had predicted it would rise to only 39.9. Meanwhile, the eurozone ZEW index jumped to 44.0 in August from 32.8 in July.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his plans for the “Hyperloop,” a transportation system comprised of 28-passenger pods that whip through steel tubes at speeds up to 760 miles per hour between L.A. and San Francisco. Musk believes the Hyperloop will cost $US7.5 billion at most.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods announces second quarter earnings this morning before the opening bell. Analysts expect the store chain to report earnings of $US0.76 per share, up from $US0.65 the year before, on revenues of $US1.58 billion, up from $US1.44 billion the year before. The announcement precedes a spate of other earnings reports this week from retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, and Nordstrom.
- Advance retail sales data for July showed that sales rose 0.2% last month after advancing an upward-revised 0.6% in June. Economists were expecting sales to rise 0.3%. Retail sales excluding autos rose 0.5%, versus expectations for a 0.4% gain.
- Also of note in the U.S. today are June business inventories data, due out at 10 AM, and a speech by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who speaks on the economy at 12:45 PM.