Productivity numbers were stronger than expected, but initial jobless claims just keep rising, now at 444,000, the highest levels since 2002. The Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 5 percent, the European Central Bank also left interest rates unchanged at 4.25 percent.
1) Yesterday, Kohl's and JC Penney reported August same store sales slightly better than expected. Today Wal-Mart, Target, Gap, American Eagle (reaffirms third quarter guidance), Pacific Sunwear all reported sales above expectations. However, department stores did not fare as well: Saks and Nordstrom were both below expectations, although not dramatically. Mid-priced stores like Dillards, and Bon-Ton Stores were also weaker than expected, as was Abercrombie. TJX was weaker as well, that is surprising--off-price discounters have been doing well.