Where’s Mario? Spain Needs You!
No Mario Draghi in Jackson Hole? Oh man, there goes two weeks of analysis by an army of traders.
Not surprisingly, the European Central Bank (learn more) president's withdraw from Jackson Hole, Wyo., meeting of central bankers has heightened expectations that he is working on something around the Sept. 6 ECB meeting. Draghi says he has a "heavy workload."
But what? Traders are expecting more details on the European Union bailout fund (the combined European Financial Stability Facility/European Stability Mechanism) and to what extent it will be partially used to fund a sovereign bond-buying program, as well as whether the ECB will reactivate the now-dormant Securities Markets Program, which would buy sovereign debt (learn more) in the secondary market.
But the German courts will not rule on the constitutionality of the ESM until the following week; Mr. Draghi is unlikely to make any grand pronouncements prior to that ruling. (Read More: Meet the German at the ECB Defending Bond Buying.)
This leaves us with much nerdier, less market-moving, pronouncements. He may announce a revamped collateral framework — "We'll take anything!" — that would encourage banks to hand in a broader range of assets against which they can secure cash, which hopefully will be reinvested in the economy.
That would make it easier to announce a third long-term refinancing operation (LTRO). Never mind that two prior LTROs didn't seem to have had much impact, that the issue is not liquidity, it's lack of demand. You will get more money. (Read More: What Is an LTRO Anyway?)
And Federal Reserve (learn more) Chairman Ben Bernanke? Most traders feel he will wait for the nonfarm payroll report on Sept. 7 before he — and the rest of the Fed — make up their mind on the need for any further easing. He will promise to do more if conditions warrant. The Fed meeting is Sept. 12-13.
More importantly, Spanish deposits took a big plunge in July, down nearly 5 percent. And Catalonia asked for 5 billion euros in help, from a fund that only has 18 billion euros in it. Catalonia and Valencia are the two biggest regions in Spain.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet with European Commission President Herman Van Rompuy today; they are widely expected to discuss "conditions" under which Spain might request aid from the European Union.
2) Knight Capital Group has named three new members to Board: Martin Brand (advisory director, Blackstone Group), Matthew Nimetz (advisory director, General Atlantic), and Fred Tomczyk (CEO, TD Ameritrade). This was part of a previously announced deal to expand the board by three members to 10 as part of the investment made in KCG following the "technology glitch" on Aug. 1.
3) Who says luxury is dead? Watch maker Movado beat and raised full-year earnings per share guidance, and beat estimates by a lot: $0.32 vs. expectations of roughly $0.18. (Read More: Love for Luxury Overcomes Global Economic Fears.)
It makes watches, not just under its own name, but for other big names: Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Juicy Couture, Hugo Boss, Coach. Notice something about those brands: They are all considered "high end," but they are in the "accessible" part of the high-end business. In other words, the goods are a few hundred dollars, not $2,000, or $10,000. That's a key to the success: Selling "aspirational" brands that look and feel expensive, but don't have the price tag. About half of its revenue comes from the U.S.
Come to think of it, watch manufacturers and sellers have not done badly. Signet Jewelers, which owns Kay jewelers, reported same-store sales up 12.5 percent. Fossil was strong, as well.
—By CNBC’s Bob Pisani
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