Europe is showing signs of life, yet Macy's certainly isn't

European Union Euro Central Bank economy currency
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The euro zone's second-quarter gross domestic product was even stronger than expected, up 0.3 percent quarter over quarter, above consensus of up 0.2 percent.

There were several positive surprises:

Portugal was up 1.1 percent -- the economy's largest gain in almost three years -- versus a consensus of negative 0.15 percent. Germany's economy expanded by 0.7 percent, beating expectations of 0.6 percent and posting its largest gain in more than a year.

Meanwhile, France grew by 0.5 percent, defying a consensus estimate of 0.2 percent and the economy's best showing since early 2011. Emerging Europe also showed positive growth: the Czech Republic grew by 0.7 percent, Hungary up 0.1 percent, and Poland up 0.4 percent.

Not everyone participated in the gains, however, as Southern Europe continues to have problems. Italy's economy contracted 0.2 percent, while Spain was down 0.1 percent.


1) Macy's (M) was a big disappointment. The problem was sales, with same-store sales down 0.8 percent versus a consensus that expected it to be up two percent. The company lowered guidance for full year earnings and comp stores sales.

The stock has not moved since May.

The obvious point to make is that the consumer has shifted to buying other things. They are not adding new stores, the consumer is not tremendously better, and what spending increases are happening are going into autosand real estate, not retail sales.

But here's another issue: The analyst numbers are too high because they do a lousy job with their models. Macy's used to report monthly same-store sales. This makes analysts lazy. All they had to was plug the monthly numbers into their models and they got updated estimates.

The company stopped reporting monthly numbers at the beginning of this year. As a result, it goes 90 days without reporting revenue numbers. The sell side just isn't doing a good job of updating their models.

2) No hard landing in tractors: Deere beat on the top and bottom line. Agriculture and turf, which is half of their revenues, while construction & forestry, about 20 percent of revenues, was weak as expected. The company lowered 2013 sales growth for construction to a decline of 8 percent, down from previous guidance of a decline of 5 percent, but left intact guidance of up 7 percent for agriculture & turf.

However, the company's 2013 overall net income guidance was raised. Perhaps most importantly, a first estimate for 2014 farm cash receipts was only down 2.6 percent, not as much a decline as some feared.

3) Healthcare IPO: Envision Healthcare (EVHC), a provider of outsourced medical services, priced 42 million shares at $23, above the share talk of 35 million and at the high end of the price talk of $20—$23.

By CNBC's Bob Pisani

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.