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Pre-Market Primer: Apple Inc. Sues Samsung Again; BlackBerry Ltd Considers Going Private


Chinese industrial production was surprisingly good.

Stocks are heading downward today as tech giants hit the courts again and Chinese data came in a bit more upbeat.

With no major economic data to look forward to, US stock index futures are slightly lower this morning. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were off 0.27% to 15,410 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slipped 0.30% to 1,688.70. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures sank 0.14% to 3,122.50.

On the economic front, we have wholesale inventories on tap for today. Inventories are projected to have increased 0.4% in June.

Asian stocks closed higher and major European indices were mixed this morning.

China released some sunnier economic data points on Friday. Consumer inflation is still relatively tame. Annually, prices were up 2.7% in July, just a hair below economists' estimates. Monthly, inflation increased 0.1%. The price of goods at the factory gate fell 2.3% from a year earlier, or 0.3% from June. Industrial production was better than forecast, rising 9.7% from a year earlier.

Japan's national debt reached the dubious milestone of 1 quadrillion yen in June. That's a 1 with 15 zeros following it. In dollar terms, Japan's public borrowing totals $10.46 trillion. Yesterday, the central bank urged the government to pass the long-delayed increase in the sales tax.

German exports fell short of expectations, growing just 0.6% in June. Demand for imported goods fell by 0.8%. Britain's trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed to 8 billion pounds in June as exports rose.

Mere days after the White House intervened to overturn a ban on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products, the Cupertino-based company is seeking yet another ban on Samsung (KRX:005930) imports. Apple will meet Samsung today in court at the International Trade Commission for allegedly violating Apple's intellectual property.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO Thorsten Heins said that the board is considering going private to simplify its turnaround. BlackBerry hasn't started looking for buyers, but the board feels that exiting the public markets can give them some "breathing room."

Metals companies are lining up to sue Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and the London Metals Exchange for anti-competitive behavior in hoarding aluminum. Recently, the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) published a lengthy investigation into Goldman's use of aluminum warehouses in the Detroit area. Trucks bring the metal back and forth among the warehouses, causing delivery delays and higher prices. (NASDAQ:PCLN) shares rose 6.55% this morning after the company reported better-than expected earnings. Sales rose 27% to $1.86 billion in the second quarter.

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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