After a quiet day yesterday for economic news, today's data will include August's wholesale inventories and job opening figures at 10 a.m. EDT, followed by the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book at 2 p.m. EDT. Wholesale inventories are expected to have risen by 0.5% following August's 0.7% rise, providing further evidence of the hesitant state of the economy.
Shares in Alcoa could be active in trading this morning following the company's latest results and revised full-year outlook, which were published after the close last night. Although it beat adjusted earnings forecasts, Alcoa reported a quarterly loss after charges and downgraded its full-year growth forecast, cutting it from 7% to 6% in the light of weakening demand for aluminum from China.
Earnings are expected today from Costco, and investors will be watching carefully to see if they, too, disappoint.
In Europe this morning, markets fell through the morning as concerns over the eurozone crisis and Chinese growth continued to weigh on stocks. An auction of Italian 12-month bonds highlighted the fragility of the current situation: Yields rose to 1.94% from 1.69% last month, thanks to fears of contagion from Spain. Markets continue to expect a bailout request from Spain, and the country's bond prices fell this morning, pushing the yield on 10-year bonds back up toward 6%.
At 7 a.m. EDT, the DAX was down 0.3%, the CAC was down 0.3%, the FTSE MIB was down 0.5%, and the IBEX was down 0.7%. In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) was 0.4% lower, but bailed-out banks Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland moved against the trend, gaining 3.5% and 1.7%, respectively, by the end of the morning session.
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