People cross a street in front of a monitor showing file footage of Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), with a news tag (L) saying he has left Hong Kong, outside a shopping mall in Hong Kong June 23, 2013. Snowden left Hong Kong on a flight for Moscow on Sunday and his final destination may be Ecuador or Iceland, the South China Morning Post said.
Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia were just modestly lower after a rough Monday sell-off. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 1% and China's Shanghai Composite was basically flat. European markets are up modestly, and U.S. futures are pointing to a higher open.
- An official from the People's Bank of China said the bank would guide interest rates to a "reasonable range." Markets were encouraged that by these words, which seemed much less hawkish than yesterday's hawkish comments. Perhaps the country will be able to avoid an all-out credit crisis.
- President Obama will be speaking at Georgetown University later this morning where he will be discussing a new climate change plan. According to the AP's Josh Lederman, Obama will "announce he's issuing a presidential memorandum to launch the first-ever federal regulations on carbon dioxide emitted by existing power plants."
- NSA leaker Edward Snowden continues to be on the run. He also continues to create problems for U.S. international relations. In a front page story for People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's Communist party, Snowden should be praised for "tearing off Washington's sanctimonious mask."
- Details continue to emerge regarding the sudden ouster of Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer. According to Reuters Nadia Damouni and Siddharth Cavale, Zimmer had been clashing with his handpicked CEO for months.
- According to the Confederation of British Industry, the UK's June retail sales grew at its highest pace in four months. This is good news for the country as it tries to escape recessionary forces.
- Durable Goods Orders report grew by 3.6% in May, beating expectations for a 3.0% gain. Nondefense orders excluding aircraft jumped 1.7%, which was way ahead of the 0.8% gain expected.
- The new Case-Shiller home price index is out. Home price jumped 12.1% year-over-year, beating expectations for a 10.6% gain. Month-over-month, prices climbed 1.7%, the fastest pace on record.
- At 10:00 AM ET, we'll get the New Home Sales report. Economists estimate new home sales climbed to a pace of 460,000 in May, up from 454,000 in April. "New Home Sales should improve significantly to a 465,000 unit annual pace in May, as indicated by a surge in mortgage purchase applications," said Morgan Stanley's Vincent Reinhart who has an above-consensus estimate.
- Also at 10:00 AM ET, we'll get the Consumer Confidence report. Economists estimate consumer confidence slipped to 75.0 in June from 76.2 a month ago. "Since the start of June, equity prices have been very volatile," noted Capital Economics' Paul Dales. "Labour market conditions are only improving gradually. For example, jobless claims have been below 350,000 in just two of the last four weeks. These factors probably explain the falls in some of the other measures of sentiment that have already been released."
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