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Pre-Market Primer: British Services Surge; White House Comes to Apple Inc's Aid

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It's the first time the president has reversed an ITC ruling since 1987.

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Stocks are flat this morning as European countries released encouraging services sector data.

Europe got even more positive data this morning, suggesting that the continent is on the mend. The service sector purchasing managers index exceeded expectations for several countries. Contractions of Italy, France, and Spain narrowed. Italy's services hit a 26-month high of 49.7, still missing the breakeven point of 50. France had the best month in 17 in July, hitting 49.1. Spain benefited from an influx of tourists and managed a 25-month high of 48.6. German growth sped up to a five-month record of 52.1.

Overall, the eurozone service sector rose to a two-year high of 50.5. Retail sales for the region fell 0.5% on a monthly basis in June, however.

Britain's service sector jumped to 60.2 from 56.2 in July, the index's highest level since 2007, before the global financial meltdown began. Last week, manufacturing also recorded its best month since 2011. The FTSE (INDEXFTSE:UKX) still declined 0.9%, and the pound rose 35 basis points against the dollar to $1.5348.

China's non-manufacturing index also showed improvement in July. The country's services rose to 54.1 from 53.9 in June.

This data from overseas did little to lift stocks in pre-market trading this morning. US stock futures are relatively flat before the opening bell. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.06% to 15,580 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) sank 0.05% to 1,703.20 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures ticked up 0.02% to 3,136.75.

Later this morning, we will get the Institute for Supply Management's July services PMI, which economists expect to rise to 53 from 52.2. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher will deliver a speech today.

In company news, analysts expect the spat between CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) could last until September. In huge markets in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, Time Warner customers are not able to watch CBS or Showtime. The impasse could send customers into the arms of online options such as Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Instant Video and Aereo, a fledgling company that allows customers to view broadcast television on an iPad.

Over the weekend, the White House announced that it will overturn the decision to ban the import of older iPhones. The International Trade Commission charged Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with infringing on Samsung's (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) patents in June. This means little to Apple, since the ban only applied to the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, both of which account for very few sales in the US.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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