Atlanta, GA 7/17/12 (StreetBeat) – Stocks were mostly higher in Asian trade. The Hang Seng was among the best with a gain of 1.75%, Australia rose 0.9%, Shanghai added two thirds of a percent and the Nikkei was up a third of a percent. European indexes are mixed, with the Footsie up about a third of a percent and the Dax down by that much. US stock futures are up a third of a percent as I write.
*According to the minutes from the latest policy meeting at the Reserve Bank of Australia, China growth is slowing less than they had earlier expected and there was a little more domestic economic momentum than previously apparent.
*The July reading of the Euro Zone’s ZEW Survey of Economic Sentiment was down a couple points from the month before to -22.3; the weakest result since January.
*The July reading of Germany’s ZEW was down almost three points on the month to -19.6, close to the forecast and the lowest result since January. The ZEW Current Situation Survey was down twelve points on the month to 21.1, well below the expectation for 30.0; the lowest results since July 2010.
*The June reading of the UK’s Consumer Price Index was -0.4% on the month and +2.4% year on year; both results were lower than estimates.
*The Governor of the Bank of Spain says they will set up a single bad bank for toxic assets. CEO Blankfein says “during the second quarter, market conditions deteriorated.” Coca Cola and Johnson and Johnson are Dow components reporting today; both companies beat their estimates by a penny or so.
*Goldman Sachs is among the companies reporting earnings today; they say Q2 eps was $1.78, well above the estimate for $1.18.
*The weekly report on chain store sales from ICSC showed sales were unchanged on a week on week basis for the week ended July 14. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CDT.
*The June reading of the Consumer Price Index is due out at 7:30am CDT. Headline CPI is expected to be unchanged on a monthly basis and the estimate for the Core CPI is +0.2% on a month on month basis. The annualized rates are forecast to be +1.6% and +2.2% respectively. The Treasury is set to announce at 8:00am CDT the net change in May of foreign holdings of long-term US securities, it is expected to be an increase of $41.3 billion. The June readings of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization are due out at 8:15am CDT. Production is expected to be +0.3% on the month and Utilization is forecast to be up two tenths from the month before to 79.2%. The July reading of the NAHB Housing Market Index is due out at 9:00am CDT, it is expected to rise one point on the month to 30.
*Fed boss Bernanke is set to testify at 9:00am CDT before the Senate Banking Committee for his semi-annual report on monetary policy and the economy.
*The Fed is scheduled to sell Treasuries today that are due to mature between 2/15/14 and 8/31/14; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.
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