***Economic Data*** - (PO) Portugal Q2 Labor Costs Y/Y: 1.2% v -0.2% prior - (RU) Russia July Producer Prices M/M: 0.7% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 6.8% v 8.8%e - (PD) Poland July CPI M/M: -0.2% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 2.0% v 2.2%e - (IC) Iceland July Unemployment Rate: 7.5% v 7.6% prior - (CA) Canada Jun New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: 2.5% v 2.0%e - (US) July Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e; CPI Ex Food & Energy M/M: 0.15%e v 0.1%e; CPI NSA: 218.011 - (US) July Advance Retail Sales: 0.4% v 0.5%e; Less Autos: 0.2% v 0.3%e - (US) Aug University of Michigan Confidence: 69.6 v 69.0e - (US) Jun Business Inventories: 0.3% v 0.2%e
- US equity indices are flat this morning despite a dose of moderately better economic data. The preliminary AugustUniversity of Michigan confidence data met expectations and showed a slight gain over the final July number. A busy month for car dealerships lifted July retail sales, making for the first gain in three months while more expensive food and gas boosted consumer prices by the most in nearly a year. Trading volume has fallen off again after two intense sessions of data-driven moves. Front-month crude is flat on the day, hovering right at yesterday's closing level of $75.
- There were mixed quarterly reports from a trio of leading retailers out this morning. JC Penny more or less met expectations in its Q2 report, however the firm's Q3 guidance was well below par. Note that JC Penny also missed its own Q2 comp store sales guidance. JCP is down 1%. Nordstrom was also in line in its Q2 report, although the firm did reiterate its full-year earnings and SSS guidance. Shares of JWN fell as much as 6% right after the open, although the stock is recovering in mid morning trade. Dillards missed expectations slightly in its Q2 report, although the firm also reported some improved profit margins. DDS is down 2%.
- There are several ongoing tech sagas in headlines this morning. After a week of negative press over government access, Research In Motion has cut a deal with the Indian government giving it access to the firm's BlackBerry service. Google is facing more difficulty in China, where the government has signed a deal to launch a new search engine. In the US, Google is being sued by Oracle over the use of Java IP in its Android mobile operating system. In other patent related news, Rambus has granted NVIDIA a patent license for memory controllers, but also said that certain outstanding litigation between the firms continues. Autodesk reported Q2 results that were well ahead of consensus expectations and said FY11 results would be up significantly y/y. ADSK is up 6%.
- There has also been some deal flows in the US session. Blackstone said it had signed a deal to acquire electric power producer Dynergy for $4.50/shr in cash, in deal worth $4.7B in total. As part of the deal, Dynegy is selling four natural gas-fired power plants in California and Maine to NRG Energy for $1.36B in cash. NRG says the move will fill the gap in its combined-cycle portfolio in its main markets. Natural gas exploration and production services firm Allis-Chalmers is selling itself to Offshore drilling contractor SeaDrill Ltd.'s Seawell unit, in an $890M all stock deal.
- The USD and JPY maintained a steady tone during the New York session, although both currencies are off their best levels for the session as traders second guessed the risk aversion theme on the better University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading. EUR/USD was at 1.2820 in mid-morning trading and USD/JPY was holding below the 86 handle.
***Looking Ahead*** - (AR) July Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.8%e v 0.7% prior; Y/Y: 11.2%e v 11.0% prior - (AR) July Wholesale Price Index M/M: No est v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: No est v 15.2% prior
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