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Last Call: "You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss..."

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“You come at the king, you best not miss...”

-Omar Little, The Wire

-Below, just weeks after lambasting Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld over the handling of the Facebook IPO, Knight Capital Group CEO Thomas Joyce has his own mess to clean up.

Market Musings With CNBC Market Guru Robert Hum

  • Recap: Dow -37.62 (-0.29%) at 12971.06, S&P -4 (-0.29%) at 1375.32, Nasdaq -19.31 (-0.66%) at 2920.21
  • Stocks see-saw after takes no policy steps, end day with small losses
  • Major averages lower for 3rd day in a row; Dow back below 13,000
  • Volatile start to August as Knight Capital software issue impacts morning trading at the NYSE
  • Closing below $7 on record volume, Knight Capital (KCG) loses $333m in market cap today, falls 33% to a 9-year low

Earnings Central

Yelp Revenues Surge as Users Flock to Services/Reuters with “Customer reviews website Yelp reported a 67-percent rise in second-quarter revenue, as it expanded into new markets and more mobile users flocked to its services.”

MetLife, Hartford and Prudential Post Mixed Results/WSJ:  “MetLife Inc.'s earnings more than doubled, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. swung to a loss and Prudential Financial Inc. posted a decline in profit.  The insurers' stocks were mixed in after-hours trading, when the results were released."

Green Mountain’s ‘Hyper’ Growth Is Over: Greenberg/CNBC: “The heady hyper-growth days of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are officially over. CEO Larry Blanford conceded as much in the company’s earnings release Wednesday when he said: “As we become larger, however, our sales growth trajectory will understandably moderate from hyper-growth to a level more in-line with other successful growth businesses."

The Word on the Street Tonight

NYSE to Cancel Trades in 6 Stocks Affected by Glitch/Reuters with CNBC: “The New York Stock Exchange announced plans on Wednesday to cancel trades in six stocks that were affected by trading glitches stemming from Knight Capital Group's market-making unit earlier in the day. Only five of the six stocks have been named so far. The affected companies include: Wizzard Software , Quicksilver , E House , American Reprographics and China Cord Blood . Electronic trading firm Knight Capital Group said Wednesday that a "technology issue'' in its market-making unit had affected the routing of shares of about 150 stocks to the New York Stock Exchange, where abnormal volatility roiled the markets in early trading.”

Flood of Errant Trades Is a Black Eye for Wall Street/NY Times – Nathaniel Popper: “An automated stock-trading program accidentally flooded the market with millions of trades Wednesday morning, spreading turmoil across Wall Street and drawing renewed attention to the fragility and instability of the nation’s stock markets. … Wednesday’s debacle follows the botched Facebook initial public offering on Nasdaq in May and the aborted effort by another exchange, BATS Global Markets, to bring its own stock public on its own exchange. The episodes have further rattled the confidence of investors and stoked suspicions that markets are unsafe for savings. “The machines have taken over, right?” said Patrick Healy, the chief executive of the Issuer Advisory Group, a capital-markets consulting firm. “When events like this happen they just reaffirm that these aren’t investors, these are traders.”

Floor Traders Praise NYSE Officials’ Handling of Trading Glitch/WSJ – Alexandra Scaggs: “…Floor traders, who have dwindled in number with the rise of electronic trading, cited what they saw as a relatively quick response to the problem, which most attributed to a glitch in an electronic trading algorithm. The Big Board is seen as among the last of its breed with floor traders trafficking shares, in contrast to automated exchanges where trading exists only in computer networks. “Part of what made this less of a disaster is that human beings are here,” said Kenneth Polcari, managing director with ICAP, a brokerage firm. ”Rah rah for the little guy, who happens to be me.”

What to Expect From Thursday’s ECB Meeting/ – Matt Clinch: “The bank could cut its main refinancing rate by 25 basis points, but many analysts believe this is unlikely given that the ECB cut rates to a new low in July.  Instead, markets are hoping that ECB President Mario Draghi will signal in a press conference that the bank will re-start its bond-buying program in an attempt to cap troubled euro zone countries’ borrowing costs. The governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to take center stage on Thursday with speculation mounting about what sort of intervention, if any, could be announced.”

Fed Gives Stronger Signals of Action/WSJ – Jon Hilsenrath & Kristina Peterson: “The Federal Reserve is heading toward launching a new round of stimulus to buck up the weak economy, but stopped short of doing so right away. The decision to make what amounted to a conditional promise of action came Wednesday at the end of the central bank's two-day policy meeting. In an uncharacteristically strong statement, the Fed said it will "closely monitor" the economy and "will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions." Translation: The Fed will move if growth and employment don't pick up soon on their own.”

Fed Alert, But Puts Off More Action/WSJ – Justin LaHart: “…It goes to show that the main event in central banking for markets this week never was the Fed but the European Central Bank meeting Thursday. Investors are waiting to see if the ECB will, as President Mario Draghi promised last week, "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," and they weren't about to sell in front of that. All of which may have entered into the Fed's calculus. A new bond-buying program launched ahead of either an ECB disappointment or positive surprise would have been a waste of firepower. Uncertainty about what Friday's jobs report will bring only adds to the argument for the Fed biding its time.”

Judge Rules in Favor of Hewlett-Packard in Oracle Case/WSL – Ben Worthen: “A state court judge in California ruled that Oracle Corp. is contractually obligated to develop software for some high-profile server systems sold by Hewlett-Packard Co. The ruling Wednesday is an important victory for H-P, whose sales have been hurt by the prospect that future versions of Oracle programs wouldn't run on some of its flagship hardware. It allows further arguments to continue in front of a jury, a phase in which H-P is expected to seek as much $4 billion in damages from Oracle.”

The Facebook Flip: Funds Exit Early/WSJ- Joe Light: “It wasn't supposed to end like this. Fidelity Investments was an early buyer of Facebook Inc. shares. In the spring of 2011, two dozen of its funds bought more than $200 million worth of the company's private stock. Then, when Facebook went public in May, many of those funds and other Fidelity funds loaded up on publicly traded shares. Now, many of the giant Boston-based company's fund managers are shrinking their stakes. Twenty-one Fidelity funds sold more than 1.9 million public Facebook shares combined in June, with 16 of them selling more than a quarter of their stakes in the company, according to investment-research firm Morningstar Inc. Private shares can't be traded until later this year.”

Councilwoman wants Olympics blocked from City Hall computers/LA Times: “After learning that so many employees at Los Angeles City Hall are watching the Olympics online that the city's computer system is threatened, Councilwoman Jan Perry said she is requesting that streaming of the Games be "immediately" blocked on city computers. "We are going to stop this activity now," she said. "That is what I am requesting they do immediately." In an email Tuesday, the city's chief technology officer begged employees to stop watching the Olympics online for fear of a municipal computer meltdown. "We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online. I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations," city tech guru Randi Levin wrote in an email sent to thousands of workers.”

Hunger Games: Catering red-faced as Olympic Park runs out of food/Guardian: “Food stalls in the Olympic Park ran out of supplies on Wednesday and some hungry sports fans were turned away during the lunchtime rush. Tea and coffee shops around the basketball and handball arenas ran out of milk and a Spanish-themed concession ran out of tapas platters and posted a member of staff to turn people away. A Mexican-themed stall was forced to abandon half of its menu because it ran out of tacos, jalapeno peppers, red peppers, chicken and cheese. A noodle shop was clean out of chicken, prawns, spring onions and coriander, while the Wok Shop only had one dish left on its menu by 1.30pm.”

Economic Data

830am et         Initial Claims

1000am et       Jun Factory Orders

1000am et       Jul Chain Store Sales

1630pm et       Fed Balance Sheet

1630pm et       Money Supply

ECB Meeting

ECB Press Conference


Before the bell:

General Motors, Sony, Beam, DirecTV, Duke Energy, Enbridge, Kellogg, Time Warner Cable, CBOE Holdings

After the bell:

AIG, Kraft, Activision Blizzard, CBS, LinkedIn, Public Storage , Southwestern Energy, Sunoco

Key Guests

Kevin Gardiner, Barclays Wealth, Head of Global Investment Strategy (4am) 

Wolfgang Schor, Continental, CFO (4:30am)

David Lutz, Stifel Nicolaus, Managing Director and Head of ETF Trading (5:45am)

Miles Nadal, MDC Partners, Chairman & CEO (6am)

Mark Teixeira, NY Yankees (6:30am)

Mike Jackson, AutoNation, Chairman & CEO (6:40am)

Robert Wolf, UBS Americas Fmr. Chairman & Pres (7am)

Martin Regalia, U.S Chamber of Commerce, Chief Economist & VP (7:15am)

Rep. Eric Cantor, (R) VA, Majority Leader (7:30am)

Daniel Ammann, GM, CFO (7:40am)

Thomas Hoenig, Frm Fed Reserve of Kansas Pres & CEO (8am) 

Rep. Steny Hoyer, (D) Maryland, House Minority Whip (8:40am)

Herbert Hainer, Adidas, CEO (10am)

James Paulsen, Wells Capital Management , Chief Investment Strategist (10am)

Adrienne Shapira, Goldman Sachs, Senior Analyst, (10am)

Michael Murphy, Rosecliff Capital, Managing Partner & CEO (12:30pm)

ICAP, Managing Director (1pm)

Shafik Gabr, ARTOC, Chairman (2pm)

Malcolm Gissen, Malcolm H. Gissen & Associates, President (2pm)

Eric Lascelles, RBC Global Asset Management, Chief Economist (3pm)

Ara Havnanian, Hovnanian Enterprises, (4:10pm)

Donald Knauss, Clorox, Chairman & CEO (4:30pm)

Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter: @tomrotunno

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