Palm Beach, FL 5/30/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks were mostly lower in Asian trade. The Hang Seng was among the worst with a 1.9% decline, Australia lost a half percent, the Nikkei fell a quarter percent and Shanghai was down a slight fraction. European indexes are mostly lower, with the Footsie off 1.1% and the Dax down about a half of a percent. US stock futures are off by about a half of a percent as I write.
*The April reading of Australian Retail Sales is -0.2% on a monthly basis, well short of the two tenth gain that was expected.
*Italy sold EU5.73 billion of five and ten year debt earlier this morning, but that was short of the maximum target of EU6.25 billion. Disappointment is showing up in the 10 Year yield, a four month high above 5.90%.
*The European Commission said in a report released this morning that they could envision using the ESM permanent rescue fund to directly bail-out troubled Euro Zone banks.
*Speaking of bailing out banks; the ECB denied a report that it had rejected a plan by Spain to recapitalize Bankia, noting that it had not been consulted on the matter and had not taken a position on it.
*All things considered, the German Bund remains a popular hiding place, as evidenced by new all-time low yield at about 1.30%.
*Germany’s FinMin will host a meeting with his Spanish counterpart in Berlin today; no post meeting statement is planned, but they might be tempted by a microphone.
*In April there were 51.8k mortgage approvals in the UK, according to the Bank of England.
*US mortgage applications were down 1.3% in the week ended May 25, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association; both key components were lower on the week.
*Just a reminder; the ADP Jobs guess is postponed until Thursday morning because of the US holiday on Monday. Also pushed back a day is the weekly report on energy inventories.
*The weekly report on chain store sales from ICSC showed on a week on week basis for the week ended May 26. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CDT.
*The April reading of Pending Home Sales is due out at 9:00am CDT, it is expected to be unchanged on a monthly basis.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 8/15/20 and 5/15/22; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.
*There is a bit of Fed speak on the calendar today, including: Dallas Fed’s Fisher is set to speak on the economy at 12:20pm CDT; New York Fed boss Dudley talks about the regional economy at 12:30pm CDT; and Boston’s Rosengren speaks at 3:30pm CDT.