Chinese shoppers turned in a gold-medal performance in July as annual growth in retail sales accelerated to a record 23.3 percent on the back of rising incomes.
Stocks should continue to take most of their cues from oil and the dollar Wednesday, but July retail sales data could also be key.
Japan's economy contracted 0.6% in the second quarter, reinforcing views that the world's No.2 economy has slipped into recession after its longest postwar expansion.
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The U.S. economy may yet slip into recession, but inflation is an even bigger risk given the "exceptionally'' stimulative stance of monetary policy, Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker said Tuesday.
A rally in the U.S. dollar stalled and the currency was little changed against the euro Tuesday as some investors sold the greenback to lock in profits after it touched multi-month highs.
Now that inflation is no longer haunting the markets, the future earnings of high-growth stocks have become much more attractive.
U.S. farmers will reap their second-largest corn crop, a mammoth 12.288 billion bushels, despite spring rains and floods that raised fears of shortages and skyrocketing prices, the government said on Tuesday.
Inflation in the UK rose 4.4 percent in July according to the latest consumer price index (CPI) data and the Bank of England's own inflation outlook released Wednesday is sure to paint a similar picture.
China's consumer price inflation fell to a 10-month low of 6.3 percent in July from 7.1 percent in June as last year's surge in the cost of food continued to unwind, the government said on Tuesday.
Japanese annual wholesale price inflation jumped to 7.1 percent in July, a 27-year high and well above expectations, adding to fears that high energy and commodity costs are squeezing firms and pushing the economy into recession.
Stocks are likely to follow the dollar, commodities trade again Tuesday, with little economic news to drive direction early.
Oil inflicts heavy economic pain on the way up, but a slower and smaller benefit on the way down.
Economists have soured on the U.S. economy's prospects for the second half of 2008 and have cut growth forecasts for next year as well, a closely watched survey released Monday showed.
The dollar extended last week's rally and rose versus the euro on Monday as investors assessed how hard the slowdown blighting the U.S. economy would hit the rest of the world.
Just the potential for a U.S. recovery will bring "enormous" amounts of under-invested cash back into the stock market, the head of an investment group said.
China's producer prices jumped by 10.0% in the year to July, the first time factory-gate inflation has been in double digits since the mid-1990s.
Australia's central bank on Monday said the economy looked to be slowing enough to significantly reduce inflation over time, providing growing scope to ease interest rates from 12-year highs.
Wall Street may extend its recovery push next week as investors bet that a further drop in oil prices will restrain inflation and boost prospects for profit growth.
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