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Minyanville's Before The Bell: Global Markets Mixed; Credit Concerns Weighing On Futures


Markets around the world are mixed today. Futures are down but all could change later with the Fed's beige book.

Asian stocks closed in mixed territories last night with European markets also trading to the downside. The sentiment is weighing on U.S. stock futures. As of 7:20 AM EST, S&P futures are trading down 10.50 points at 1479.20, and Nasdaq futures are down 5.8 points 2019.

Japanese stocks declined for the third straight day. The Nikkei fell -1.60% on news that Typhoon Fitow was gaining power and scheduled to make landfall southwest of Tokyo by tomorrow.

In economic news, Japan's Finance Minister stated in an interview that although he hoped the country's debt position would improve, economic growth would have to remain a priority. Japan's outstanding debt is equivalent to 179% of GDP. The U.S. debt level is approximately 63% of GDP. (From WSJ). For more analysis, please read Mr. Practical's Minyan Mailbag: How Dollar Debt Could Play Out.

In other parts of Asia, the Hang Seng gained +0.77%, and the Shanghai Composite gained +0.31%. India's Sensex halted its winning streak losing -0.12%.

Markets in Europe are trading sharply lower. The CAC is down -0.97%, the DAX is down -0.64%, and the FTSE is down -0.63%.

Topping the headlines is news that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) chief economist Jean-Philippe Cotis saying the U.S. economy may be able to avoid recession due to a positive outlook in consumer spending. The news may not have been well received in Europe as EU July retail sales came in less than expected: 0.1% vs. 0.3% cons.

The financial sector in the U.S. may be under pressure today as news of Citigroup (C) is continuing to feel the burdens of the credit markets. The banking giant is reported to have a quarter of the market for structured investment vehicles also known as conduits, one of which is Centauri Corp reported to have $21 bln in outstanding debts as of February 2007. A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment on the bank's SIV disclosures or potential exposure. (From WSJ) Read Professor Depew's Five Things You Need To Know for more on the Credit Crunch in action.

Weekly MBA mortgage applications climbed 1.3% last week with purchasing applications increasing 0.4%. More Housing data will be released later this morning with Pending home sales at 10:00 AM EST. Weekly crude inventories will be released at 10:30 AM EST.

The Fed's action are front and center. Investors will get a good feel with this afternoon's Fed's Beige Book which is schedule for 2:00 PM EST. Read Toddo's Random Thoughts from yesterday as he ponders on the questions, To Cut or Not to Cut? Click here for the full radar. In addition, click on our Stocks to Watch for more company-specific news. Don't forget to check out Hoofy and Boo's new video! Good luck and Good trading today, Minyans!
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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