Northern, WI 7/19/12 (StreetBeat) – Stocks were mostly higher in Asian trade. Australia was among the best with a gain of two percent, the Hang Seng added one and two thirds percent, the Nikkei was up 0.8% and Shanghai rose 0.7%. European indexes are higher this morning, with the Dax better by one percent and the Footsie up a half of a percent. US stock futures are up by almost a half percent as I write.
*The May reading of Japan’s All Industry Activity Index is -0.3% on a month on month basis, as expected.
*The June reading of Japan’s Nationwide Department Store Sales were -1.2% year on year; the weakest result of the year.
*The June reading of Switzerland’s Trade Balance is a surplus of SF2.25 billion, down from a surplus of SF2.52 billion the month before. Exports were down 2.6% month on month and Imports were lower by 3.1% from the month before.
*The June reading of UK Retail Sales is +0.1% month on month, well short of the estimate of +0.6%.
*Germany’s Bundestag vote on the Spanish bailout is set for today, as it is in Finland; both votes are expected to pass. In regards to Spanish aid, there is a story in the WSJ that says EFSF funds will be used to buy Spanish debt, which is a strategy that could bring a Moody’s downgrade to junk because it would indicate the country has lost access to the private debt markets. An EC spokesman denies the story. Additionally, the Italian Parliament has approved the ESM in a vote this morning.
*Morgan Stanley is among the companies that are reporting on earnings today. MS missed the estimate by a considerable amount with an adjusted eps of 16 cents versus 29 cents expected.
*The weekly report on Initial Jobless Claims is due out at 7:30am CDT, it is expected to be 365k. The July reading of the Philly Fed Business Activity Index is due out at 9:00am CDT, it is forecast to be -8.0, up from -16.6 the month before. There are a couple of more bits of data that are also due out at 9:00am: the June reading Existing Home Sales, expected to be 4.62 million units annualized or up 1.5% on the month; and the June reading of the Leading Economic Indicators, estimated to be -0.1% on the month.
*The weekly report on inventories of Natural Gas is due out at 9:30am CDT, it is expected to show an increase of 33 bcf.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 2/15/36 and 5/15/42; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.
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