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August Ends With Miserable Volume

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010 | 9:05 AM ET

The Nikkei, down 3.6 percent, hit a 52-week low as investors were not impressed with the BOJ's latest stimulus efforts, boosting cheap loans to commercial bnaks. The yen is at a 15-year high against the dollar.

Growth worldwide remains choppy. India's GDP grew 8.8 percentin the April-June quarter, the fastest pace in nearly three years, but Canada's GDP grew at just a 2.0 percent annual rate, much slower than the 5.8 percent in the first quarter.

At least August is ending, with its miserable volume. Stock pickers, high frequency traders, low frequency traders, everyone pulled back their trading activity in August. Trading this August was much lighter than August of last year. How much lighter? NYSE consolidated volume this August was 31 percent below average daily volume for last August.

Then again, August was an up year in 2009: the S&P 500 was up 3.5 percent . Not so this August: S&P is down 4.8 percent, with one day to go. It would be the worst August for the S&P sine 2001.

Elsewhere:

1) Dollar General is fractionally up after the discounter's Q2 earnings beat estimates($0.42 vs. $0.38 consensus). Higher volumes and prices boosted margins and propelled same-store sales to rise 5.1 percent.

The company's outlook for the year was also raised to $1.68 to $1.74 vs. $1.72 consensus, while raising its sales growth forecast to up 8.5 percent to 10.5 percent.

Excluding Wal-Mart , discounters are expected to report some of the stronger August same-store sales numbers when retailers report their monthly comps on Thursday.

2) Saks surges 22 percent on unconfirmed reports that a consortium of U.K. and U.S. private equity firms are weighing a bid for the upscale department store company. The U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper reported that the private equity firms are pondering a $1.7 billion cash deal, which would give shareholders $11/share—a 67 percent premium from yesterday's closing price.

3) Power company Exelon agreed to purchase Deere's renewable energy unit for $900 million. The deal would expand Exelon's wind power generation capabilities as it gains greater wind energy capacity across 8 states.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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