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3 Things you need to know before Trading Today

*Stocks were generally higher throughout Asia overnight. The Nikkei, Shanghai and Australia each gained between 0.6% and 0.8% and the Hang Seng was up a fraction. European indexes are little changed this morning; the Dax is currently off by a fraction and the Footsie is essentially unchanged. US stock futures are also a fraction lower as I write.

*The Q2 reading of Australia’s Producer Price Index was much less than forecast; it rose 0.3% on the month but was expected to increase 0.8%. The annualized result was +1.0%, a half point less than the estimate.

*The June reading of Japan’s exports was down 1.8% from the month before, but it was up 27.7% from a year ago and that was better than expected. Imports rose slightly on the month and overall the Merchandize Trade Balance was a smaller than expected surplus.

*A delegation from the EC, ECB and IMF are in Greece today to begin a two week inspection of the Greek economy to decide if the country should receive a second loan installment, this one for EU9.0 billion, from the EU110 billion aid deal.

*Three month euro Libor was up 0.2 basis points from Friday to 0.82313%, the highest level since last August; this morning is the first time this market could react to the results of the European bank stress tests; three month Euribor was fixed at 0.889% today versus 0.885% on Friday. However the spread between Spanish and German debt yields is a few basis points more narrow this morning

*The June reading of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index is due out at 7:30am CDT; it was +0.21 in May. The July reading of the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity Index is set to be released at 9:30am CDT, it is expected to improve to -2.5% from the June reading of -4.0%.

*The June reading of New Home Sales is due out at 9:00, it is expected to show a monthly sales gain of 3.7% for an annualized rate of 311k units.

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