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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Last Call: Back to School Shopping & the Economy

A girl shops at the Abercrombie & Fitch store in the San Francisco Shopping Center in San Francisco, California.
David Paul Morris | Getty Images

TEACHER: “Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?”

— Clyde’s answer below, along with a look at what back to school shoppers like Clyde are saying about the economy.

Market Musings With CNBC Robert Hum

  • Recap: Dow -38.52 (-0.29%) at 13169.43, S&P -1.76 (-0.13%) at 1404.11, Nasdaq +1.66 (+0.05%) at 3022.52
  • Coming off 5 consecutive weeks of gains, stocks fall to start week, but close off lows
  • S&P 500 fails to get first 7-day win streak in nearly 6 years
  • Miserable Mondays return: Dow down 14 of last 16 Mondays
  • CBOE Volatility Index closes below 14 for first time in 5 years

The Word on the Street Tonight

Groupon Shares Fall Sharply as Revenue Disappoints/ w/ Reuters: “Groupon shares tumbled after the daily deal site's revenue fell short of estimates even as earnings beat Wall Street forecasts. Groupon shares fell to a life-time low of $6.05 in after-hours trading. The company's stock has tanked since going public last November.”

The New Deal At Groupon Isn't Enough/WSJ – RolfeWinkler: “Groupon has a fast-growing new business selling discounted products, but that isn't enough to mask the weakness in Internet coupons. Disappointing second-quarter financial results sent shares plunging to a new all-time low near $6 in trading after Monday's closing bell. Styling itself more like Amazon , Groupon now carries products in inventory which it then sells to customers, as opposed to its core coupon business. Such "direct" sales of products accounted for 12% of revenue in the second quarter, up from nothing a year ago. But excluding these, revenue declined 7% from the prior quarter. And stocking actual products also drives up Groupon's cost of revenue. This jumped to 24% of sales in the second quarter, up from 14% a year ago.”

Casino Mogul’s Frontman in China Is Focus of Inquiries/NY Times – Michael Luo: “When Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, needed something done in China, he often turned to his company’s “chief Beijing representative,” a mysterious businessman named Yang Saixin. … But today, Mr. Yang, along with tens of millions of dollars in payments the Sands made through him in China, is a focus of a wide-ranging federal investigation into potential bribery of foreign officials and other matters in China and Macau, according to people with knowledge of the inquiries.”

U.S. seniors find it's never too late to learn social media/Reuters – Patricia Reaney: “Seniors, some in their 90s, could soon be making new friends on Facebook thanks to New York libraries offering classes to help the elderly learn, or brush up their social network skills. Carol White, 69, was already on Facebook when she enrolled in the "Facebook for Seniors" class at the Spuyten Duyvil Library in the Bronx. But she didn't understand how it worked.”

Redbox founder Gregg Kaplan to leave Coinstar/Reuters: “Redbox kiosks owner Coinstar Inc said chief operating officer Gregg Kaplan, who founded the DVD renting business, will be leaving the company. Kaplan founded Redbox in 2002, setting up a few kiosks in some McDonald's restaurants. The business was acquired by Coinstar in 2009 and now boasts more than 38,000 kiosks across United States.”

Study: 78 money market funds were at risk of breaking buck/USA Today – John Waggoner: “A study by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank says that 78 money market mutual funds had to seek help from their sponsors to keep from having their share prices drop below a dollar from 2007 to 2011. Of the 78 money funds that asked for help from their management firms, 21 would have broken the buck without that assistance, according to the Fed study. And 32 funds needed help more than one time. Money funds are not insured, but keep their share prices at $1 per share to preserve principal. Their main attraction is safety and easy access, much like a bank account. "Breaking the buck" means that investors would lose money in a fund sold as being extremely safe."

Why More States May See Gas Prices Above $4/CNBC: Patti Domm: “Refining issues and higher crude prices have lit a fire under gasoline prices and could push them above $4 a gallon in more parts of the U.S. in the next few weeks. Gasoline has risen 30 cents a gallon in the past month, to a national average of $3.696, according to AAA. In the past week, unleaded regular has risen eight cents a gallon, but in some areas, like California, where a Chevron refinery fire knocked out significant refining capacity, gas prices are rising even faster.”

Peregrine CEO Is Indicted/WSJ – Jacob Bunge: “The chief executive of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. was indicted Monday on 31 charges of lying to government regulators regarding the failed brokerage's operations. Russell Wasendorf Sr. faces a maximum sentence of 155 years' imprisonment on the charges and fines of about $7.75 million, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa.”


TEACHER: “Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?”
CLYDE :  “No, sir. It’s the same dog.”

Back-To-School Shoppers in No Mood to Splurge/Reuters: “Teenager Fanta Bagayoko personifies U.S. retailers' worst nightmare this back-to-school season. "I feel like the economy is messed up," the 18-year-old said while shopping at a Walmart in New Jersey, for herself and her niece. "Money wise, I still feel like we are in a recession."

Economic Data

730      Jul NFIB

830      Jul Retail Sales

830      Jul PPI

1000    Jun Biz


Before the Bell:

Home Depot, Estee Lauder, Flowers Foods, Michael Kors, Saks, TJX, Valspar

After the Bell:

Bob Evans Farms

Key Guests

Wolfgang Koester, FiREapps CEO (540a)

Paul Hawtin, Derwent Capital CEO (630a)

Taylor Wilson, Thiel Fellow (650a)

Wilbur Ross, WL Ross & Co Chairman (700a)

William Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist (715a)

Dominic Frederico, Assured Guaranty CEO (715a)

Donald Trump, Trump Organization Chairman Chairman (730a)

Lawrence Lindsey, The Lindsey Group CEO (800a)

Olli Rehn, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs (835a)

Joe Cohen, Lore CEO (1000a)

John Taylor, FX Concepts Chairman (1230p)

Tara Seshan, Thiel Fellow (235p)

Rebecca Patterson, Bessemer Trust Managing Director (300p)

Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market Co-CEO (330p)

Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter: @tomrotunno

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