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A Trough for China?

Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 9:41 AM ET
Karin Slade | The Image Bank | Getty Images

A trough for China? Third-quarter gross domestic product at 7.4 percent growth compared to a year ago, the slowest growth in several years. But compared to the second quarter, GDP grew 2.2 percent. That implies a full-year growth rate of 8.8 percent.

slow growth

In other words, the third quarter may be the trough for China's GDP. Retail sales were up 14.2 percent, better than expected, and industrial production was up 9.2 percent, above consensus. Those are important components of GDP ... that indicates GDP will be growing quarter-over-quarter. (Read More: China Economy Hits Bottom, Is It Time to Buy Stocks? )

I'm well aware of the skepticism about China's economy ... many are, but even the skeptics concede we may be approaching a bottom. ISI, which have also been skeptical of a recovery, wrote this morning: "At best, we think China's economy will be stabilizing at a low rate in (the fourth quarter 2012)."

More attention to the economy likely coming from China. The National Communist Party Congress is scheduled for Nov. 8. That's when the leadership will likely be replaced. Once the transition is complete, many are expecting the new leadership to get more aggressive on the economy.

Speaking of troughs: With 20 percent of the S&P 500 index reporting; third-quarter earnings growth is POSITIVE at 0.56 percent. That's right: positive . Ninety-eight companies have reported so far, and 62 percent are beating expectations, in line with the historical average. Fourth-quarter earnings growth is expected to be 9.67 percent. (Read More: See CNBC.com's Complete Earnings Coverage .)

Elsewhere:

1) Spain sold bonds without trouble . The yield on the Spanish 10-year fell to 5.4 percent — its lowest since early April — after the southern bourse sold more debt than planned at lower borrowing rates in today's auction. Spain raised 4.6 billion euros ($6 billion) selling 3-year, 4-year, and 10-year debt, nearly completing its 2012 debt program with four more auctions remaining before the end of the year. Demand for the 10-year bond fell from the previous auction, though there was healthy appetite for all three bonds. (Read More: Spain May Spend Months in 'No Man's Land' Over Bailout .)

—By CNBC's Bob Pisani; Follow Him on Twitter @BobPisani

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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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