- Merkel Mulls Easing Greece Bailout Terms, Lawmakers Say. Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering easing Greece’s bailout terms, fanning tensions with members of her coalition who oppose giving the Greek government any more concessions, two German lawmakers said. Merkel’s government is torn between showing some leniency toward Greece as it struggles to meet the terms of its rescues and insisting that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras deliver on his promises, Klaus-Peter Willsch and Frank Schaeffler, both of whom have voted against Merkel’s euro crisis policies in parliament, said in separate telephone interviews.
- 21Vianet Plunges as ADRs Head for Weekly Slump: China Overnight. 21Vianet Group Inc. (VNET) tumbled the most in a month, leading declines in Chinese companies traded in New York after second-quarter profit fell short of estimates. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index (CH55BN) of the most-traded Chinese companies in the U.S. dropped 0.7 percent to a one-week low of 91.07 as of 12:42 p.m. 21Vianet, China’s largest independent Internet data-center operator, sank 7.5 percent. Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), the world’s biggest solar maker, slid to an eight-day low after its chief executive officer resigned. NetEase Inc. was poised for the biggest two-day rout since 2008.
- EPA Defeats Challenge to Higher Ethanol Levels in Fuel. A challenge to an Environmental Protection Agency rule allowing higher concentrations of corn- based ethanol in gasoline was thrown out by a U.S. Appeals Court ruling that the groups pressing the case had no right to sue. Grocery, auto and petroleum industry associations filed suit against the agency in November 2010, saying that rules allowing for increased used of corn-based ethanol in auto fuel would push up the price of food and gasoline and harm engines. The court today ruled the groups couldn’t show they had suffered specific harm as a result of the EPA’s decisions.
- U.S. Unemployment Rate Rise Broad-Based as 44 States Show Increases. The jobless rate climbed in 44 U.S. states in July, showing last month’s increase in unemployment was broad based. Alabama and Alaska registered the worst performance, with joblessness advancing by 0.5 percentage point in each, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Payrolls grew in 31 states last month, led by California and Michigan. Across the nation, the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July, a five-month high, even as employment increased by the most since February. Unemployment jumped to 8.3 percent in Alabama from 7.8 percent in June, and climbed to 7.7 percent in Alaska from 7.2 percent, today’s report showed. Nevada, where the rate rose to 12 percent from 11.6 percent, remained the state with the highest level of joblessness in the country. Rhode Island, at 10.8 percent, was second, followed by California at 10.7 percent.
- Index of U.S. Leading Indicators Rises More than Forecast. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.4 percent, the biggest gain since February, after a revised 0.4 percent drop in June, the New York-based group said today. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment increased to 73.6, the highest level since May, from 72.3 in July.
- Apple(AAPL) Rises to Intraday Record on IPad Mini Research Note. Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s shares rose to an intraday record after a research report from Jefferies & Co. said the company had started production of the iPad mini, a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet. The shares increased as much as 1.2 percent to $644.13, and were up 0.9 percent to $642.10 at 10:50 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday, the stock had gained 57 percent this year.
- Police Kill 34 Lonmin Miners in Worst Post-Apartheid Clashes. South African police killed 34 striking workers at Lonmin Plc’s Marikana platinum-mining complex yesterday, the worst death toll in police action since the end of apartheid in 1994. At least 78 people were injured in the clashes, Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega told reporters in Marikana in North West province today.
- Facebook(FB) Investors Cash Out. Sales Ban Lifted on Early Backers; Zuckerberg Acknowledges 'Painful' Stock Drop.
- Punk Band Given Two Years Over Anti-Kremlin Protest. Three members of a once-unheralded feminist group—whose anti-Kremlin protest inside Russia's main Orthodox cathedral led to one of the most politically charged trials of the country's post-Soviet era—were convicted of hooliganism Friday and sentenced to two years in prison. The diminutive provocateurs, in handcuffs, stood in a glass-enclosed pen in a Moscow courtroom as Judge Marina Syrova announced her decision, ratifying what critics of President Vladimir Putin call a growing crackdown on dissent.
- Spanish Banks' Bad Loans Surge.
- China's Softening Yuan Could Block Rate Cuts. China might not be able to cut interest rates if the yuan weakens further, according to Moody’s, which says the end of the strong Chinese currency era could limit Beijing’s policy actions.
- Poll: Gloomier Outlook, Greater Expectations for QE3. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will launch a third round of money printing have risen slightly over the past month to 60 percent, according to a Reuters poll that also showed economists lowering growth prospects for this year and next.
- Still No Escape for Taxpayers if Banks Go Bust. Five years since the start of the financial crisis, taxpayers would still be forced to foot the bill should more banks fail because countries are delaying alternative solutions.
- Still Fiddling While the 'Fiscal Cliff' Gets Closer: Bartiromo.
- ... And Now, Gas Prices Are About To Become A Big Issue. According to AP, the price of a gallon of gas is up about 30 cents nationally from a month ago. An average gallon of regular is now $3.71.
- Short-Term ECB Dollar FX Swaps With Fed Soar To Highest Since December 2009. (graph)
- Spanish Bad Loans Soar By Most In 3 Years As Bond Issuance Set To Surge.
- The Only 'Un-Manipulated' Chart Of The Real Un-Recovery You'll Ever Need. (graph)
- Economic Outlook Drops To Lowest Of The Year As Inflation Expectations Surge. (graph)
- Will The Fall Of Europe's Discontent Follow The Glorious Summer Made By This Head Of The ECB.
- Former Greek FinMin: ECB must write down Greek debt. Remember, the ECB’s Greek bond holdings were untouched by the Greek debt restructuring last spring. Former Greek FinMin Papaconstintinou is calling on the ECB and other official holders of Greek debt to write down their holdings, which would further reduce the country’s dent burden. As part of the inevitable third bailout package, an ECB write-down is probably part of the plan. Doing so would then require the ECB to be recapitalized by the members of the Eurogroup…
- Election 2012: Obama 45%, Romney 47%. (graph)
- Iran's Ahmadinejad says no place for Israel in new Middle East. Many thousands of Iranians shouted "Death to America, death to Israel" during state-organised protests on Friday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East. Iran, penalised by tough Western sanctions, faces the threat of an Israeli or U.S. military strike on its disputed nuclear facilities. With popular uprisings reshaping the region, the Islamic Republic is also trying to prevent the overthrow of its closest Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "You want a new Middle East? We do too, but in the new Middle East ... there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists," Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Tehran University in an event broadcast live on state television. "Saving the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) is a joint commitment by most arrogant Western governments," Ahmadinejad said in a speech to mark the annual Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day decreed by Khomeini and held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. He called for Muslim unity to foil Western support for Israel, which he described as a "cancerous tumour" for its occupation of Palestinian land.
- US faces stiff opposition to emergency oil release plans. President Barack Obama faced stiff resistance to the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves to damp down prices on Friday, with key Asian allies and the head of the West's energy agency rejecting any need for action. A day after Reuters reported that the White House was "dusting off" plans for potentially tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Maria van der Hoeven, was blunt in her assessment: "There is no reason for a release."
- Euro slumps broadly, dollar hits 5-wk high vs yen.
- Risks of California municipal bankruptcies rising-Moody's. California likely will experience "a greater share" of defaults and bankruptcies than other areas of the country, Moody's Investors Service said on Friday.
- Hezbollah says can kill tens of thousands of Israelis. The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Friday it could kill tens of thousands of Israelis by striking specific targets in Israel with what it described as precision-guided rockets. "I tell the Israelis that you have a number of targets, not a large number ... that can be hit with precision rockets ... which we have," Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said in a broadcast speech.
- Eurozone politicians at odds over break-up. Holland's finance minister defended the euro, saying the country never speculates about a break-up, after Finland's foreign minister warned the country was preparing for the single currency to split.
- Madrid mayor says Spain rescue 'seems inevitable'. The mayor of Madrid, a prominent member of Spain's ruling party, said it "seems inevitable" the central government would apply for some kind of international aid package.
- U.S. Growth May Stall in 2013, El-Erian Writes. The U.S. economy is likely to grow only 2% in 2013 and there's a risk that growth will stall, Mohamed El-Erian, the ceo and co-cio of PIMCO, wrote. The budget deficit will probably continue at about 10% of gdp, giving the president little room for maneuver, El-Erian wrote. Europe's debt crisis is likely to escalate in the coming months and China's economic dynamism will probably decline further, he said.
- China Calls on Local Govts to Stick to Property Curbs. The pressure of housing prices in some cities of China is rising, according to a result of a nationwide inspection of property curbs' implementation reported by the official Xinhua News Agency. The inspection found housing prices rose in some cities recently from the previous month. Local governments should "firmly" curb property speculation. China will improve the policies and consolidate achievements of property curbs