***Economic data*** - (BR) Brazil FGV Inflation IGP-M: 0.99% v 0.75%e - (US) Aug NFIB Small Business Optimism: 88.8 v 89.0e - (US) ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales w/e Sept 11th: +0.8% w/w; +2.6% y/y - (PD) Poland Aug CPI M/M: -0.4% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: 2.0% v 2.1%e - (BR) Brazil July Retail Sales M/M: 0.4% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 10.9% v 11.0%e - (CA) Canada Q2 Labor Productivity Q/Q: -0.8% v -0.5%e v 0.7% prior; Capacity Utilization: 76% v 75.5%e - (CA) Canada July New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: 2.4% v 1.0%e - (US) Aug Advance Retail Sales: 0.4% v 0.3%e; Retail Sales Less Autos: 0.6% v 0.3%e - (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Sep 11th: +2.9% y/y; MTD: -0.1% v Aug - (US) September IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index 45.3 v 44.0e - (US) July Business Inventories 1.0 v 0.7%e ***Fixed Income*** - (NE) Netherlands Debt Agency (DSTA) sells â‚¬2.8B in 1.75% 2013 DSLs
- US equity futures were a bit soft before the NY open in the wake of Germany's mixed ZEW investor confidence and Euro Zone industrial production data. US retail sales rose in August for the second consecutive month and by the largest amount in five months while the August NFIB small business optimism index was slightly higher than July; the two metrics lend more ammo to double-dip skeptics. The key US indices have ground back up to positive territory in early trading, as the faint risk aversion sentiment evaporates. Nevertheless, spot gold is at all-time highs and Dec gold briefly tested all-time highs. After strengthening somewhat before the open with risk aversion, the dollar has come under some substantial selling pressure with EUR/USD close to one-month highs briefly trading above 1.30. USD/JPY is once again making fresh 15-year lows while the USD/CHF trades below parity for the first time since December 2009. Also weighing on the Greenback is a retreat in US Treasury rates. The benchmark 10-year yield is down 7 basis points on the session trading below 2.7%.
- More names are offering guidance as markets enter the period before the fall earnings season. Nucor detailed the impact of LIFO charges on its Q3, noting that with the charges the firm's earnings would be well below target. Ex LIFO, Q3 earnings are right in line. NUE was down as much as 4.5%, before recovering somewhat in mid morning trading. Ahead of its investor day today Molina Healthcare hiked its FY11 view, modestly exceeding expectations. Game company THQ slashed its FY11 outlook to a significant loss (versus breakeven prior) due to the delayed release of the next installment in its Red Faction series. THQI fell as much as 4% before recouping nearly all its morning losses. Sportswear retailer Zumiez hiked its Q3 outlook slightly, citing a better sales outlook. ZUMZ is up a whopping 16% on the news, well ahead of the modest gains in retail names from the morning's August retail sales data.
- In earnings, Best Buy crushed EPS expectations in its Q2 but fell short in the revenue department. In addition, the firm improved its FY11 earnings range, but slightly trimmed its top-line guidance. Best Buy cited sales of mobile phones and reduced promotions for the better earnings performance. BBY is up 6%. Kroger was slightly ahead of EPS expectations in its Q2 report while revenue was in line, and also reaffirmed its expectations. KR is up 3%.
- In M&A action, insurance name Ace Limited acquired crop insurance firm Hail Insurance Service, Inc for about $1.1B in cash. Ace had held a 20% stake in the firm and said the acquisition would be immediately accretive to earnings. Green Mountain Coffee confirmed earlier reports that it would acquire Canadian coffee rival Van Houtte for $890M in cash. The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions for GMCR after buying Diedrich Coffee in May. Diedrich was also a roaster licensed to produce K-Cups, which fit into the GreenMountain's Keurig system. Protective Life acquired United Investors Life for $316M from Torchmark Corp. PL said the deal would be accretive in FY11.
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