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Global Slowdown Continues

Sheraz Mian

Monday morning market news gives another dampener to U.S. market futures, with Japan reporting 2nd quarter GDP at 1.4% growth, just over half of the 2.7% economists had been predicting. Worse, this is a steep drop-off from the revised 5.5% growth from the previous quarter. This news helped send the Nikkei down slightly, while the Shanghai Composite Index led Asian markets even lower, falling 1.5%.

There is very little to look toward in terms of economic reports today, so the recent market upswing, which had been closing in on the 52-week highs from this spring, may have some difficulty finding positive momentum.

While earnings season has been quite sluggish overall, especially on the Revenue side, it's been far from the disaster many were expecting. That said, fewer than 40% of already-reported S&P 500 companies beat on the top line this quarter, with many lowering guidance for Q3 and beyond.

Retailers are in focus for the next couple weeks, as most of their quarters end in July instead of June. This week alone we expect earnings reports from Home Depot (HD), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT), among others.

After the market-close today we will get earnings results from Groupon, Inc. (GRPN). The beleaguered e-commerce firm -- which has fallen over 70% since its IPO last November -- nevertheless jumped 12% Friday and is up another 4% in the pre-market today. I guess somebody's got a good feeling about what the company has in store after the bell.

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