10 Things To Know Before the Opening Bell

Posted by Business Insider

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Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 5.02.40 AM

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 5.02.40 AM

  • Markets in Asia were higher in overnight trading. The Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite advanced 1.0%. European markets are higher this morning with the exception of Spain, currently down 0.5%. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
  • China’s annual GDP growth rate slowed to 7.5% in the second quarter from 7.7% in Q1, matching consensus estimates. That puts the average 2013 growth rate so far at 7.6%, just above the government’s official growth target of 7.5%.
  • Chinese industrial production rose at an 8.9% annual rate in June, below consensus estimates for a 9.1% advance. Year-to-date fixed asset investment growth stood at 20.1% in June, just below predictions for 20.2% growth. Retail sales rose 13.3% annualized last month, above expectations for 12.9% growth.
  • Spanish opposition leaders turned up the pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign Sunday after Spanish newspaper El Mundo published text messages linking Rajoy to a slush fund used to pay off politicians. Luis Barcenas, the former Popular Party treasurer on the other end of the text messages, told the paper last week that the party has long been financed illegally.
  • The main focus for markets this week will be Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s semi-annual Humphrey Hawkins testimony before Congress Wednesday on the U.S. economy and monetary policy. Market participants will be paying close attention to any words from Bernanke that build on his comments last week regarding the recent rise in bond yields and attendant tightening of financial conditions.
  • At 8 AM ET, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo will give a speech on banking regulation in Washington. Although the speech is unlikely to address current monetary policy, market participants have been giving increased attention to Fed appearances in recent weeks as bond markets have been roiled by the prospect that the central bank will begin to taper bond purchases later this year.
  • The advance retail sales report for June is due out in the United States at 8:30 AM. Economists predict sales rose 0.7% in June after advancing 0.6% in May. Excluding autos, sales are expected to post gains of 0.4% after rising 0.3% in May.
  • The results of the New York Fed’s July Empire State Manufacturing Survey are also out at 8:30 AM. Economists predict the headline index slipped to 5 in July from 7.84 in June, suggesting a continued but slowing expansion in regional manufacturing over the past month.
  • Rounding out the U.S. data is the May business inventories release, due out at 10 AM. Economists predict inventories rose 0.2% in May after posting a 0.3% gain in April. Follow all of the data releases LIVE on Business Insider >
  • George Zimmerman was found not guilty of manslaughter in the Trayvon Martin case over the weekend. President Barack Obama released a statement calling the death of Martin a tragedy, and the Department of Justice also made its own statement leaving the door open to a civil-rights case against Zimmerman.