Futures dropped as jobless claims were a bit higher than expected, and the Consumer Price Index was higher than expected on both the headline number and core (ex-food and energy). Bulls are arguing that these numbers are backward-looking and that the recent drop in energy prices will be reflected in the next month's numbers.
Industrial output from China was weak, up only 14.7 percent. That's pretty robust by western standards, but it was the slowest gains since February 2007. The Shanghai Composite Index is down every day since the Olympics began.
Eurozone GDP contracted, though the drop of 0.2 percent was in line with expectations.
1) Wal-Mart beat on the bottom line, though unfortunately did not provide much color. Sales grew 10.4 percent with international sales up 17 percent. Guidance was raised for the remainder of 2008. Once again, Wal-Mart proves its value as a low-cost retailer in a weak economic environment.
2) Estee Lauderup 6 percent pre-open, they beat on the top and bottom line. Guidance for the current quarter is below expectations, but full year fiscal guidance is about in line with expectations.
3) Briggs and Strattonmissed, and it's not surprising: "engine shipments for lawn and garden applications were significantly impacted by lower retail sales caused by depressed home sales and weak consumer confidence." Down 11 percent.
3) Finally, an article on the All Things Digital web sitemakes an interesting observation: Apple now has a larger market cap than Google ($158.8 b vs. $157.2 b). Appleis now the 10th largest stock in the S&P 500, bigger than Cisco and Intel.
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