August 14, 2012
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Following some decent earnings numbers from a few of the U.S.'s top
retailers, we also received good economic data this morning. The
Producer Price Index (PPI) reported up 0.3%, which was as expected,
but 0.4% subtracting food and energy costs, which was a positive
surprise. And July Retail Sales came in quite strong at up 0.8%;
subtracting gas and autos, this rose to 0.9%, another positive
Analysts had expected more expensive food prices to bump the
numbers a bit, but this healthier spending also suggests American
consumers are less affected by the global slowdown than predicted.
Regarding the sales numbers particularly, they followed three
straight months of decline, so perhaps we're seeing a bit of
pent-up action here.
Also this morning,
) reported strong 2nd quarter earnings, easily surpassing analysts
estimates and year-over-year comparisons. At high-end retailer
), its net loss rose in the quarter but revenues were up year over
) posted pre-market gains after a better-than-expected 4th quarter.
Elsewhere, rumors of the death of the Eurozone are greatly
exaggerated. The German economy grew an unastounding 0.3% in the
2nd quarter and French GDP was flat, but they both beat
expectations. European oil companies such as
) were up in the overseas markets, as were German big pharma
) and Bayer.
Overall, GDP in the Eurozone dropped 0.2%, an improvement over the
previous quarter's 0.4% loss, but a loss nonetheless. But we
investors here in the U.S. already understand why this has sent
futures higher: this increases the likelihood that stimulus from
central banks will be forthcoming.
) giveth, and Groupon taketh away: after spiking to nearly $8 per
share on Monday in anticipation of its earnings beat after the bell
-- which followed a 12% gain in the stock Friday, where it started
trading at $6.65 -- the company missed its revenue estimate
yesterday afternoon and guided well below what analysts were
expecting. So the stock is now down over 22% in the pre-market, and
will be a stock to watch today, as well.