U.S. equities are tilting lower
U.S. equities are tilting lower in line with indices globally, as the markets sink into the thick of August doldrums. The Dow is 21-points lower, S&P sank 3-points and NASDAQ 100 is 7-points down in pre-open mini trade. This followed a 0.3% decline on Japan's N-225 and a 0.15% rise on China's CSI 300 after China's trade surplus widened for the fifth month, risking more ire from Trump. In Europe, the major bourses are mostly lower despite firmer UK BRC retail sales and a rise in the German trade surplus for Q2. The U.S. economic calendar remains fairly Spartan, with an update on JOLTS job openings after NFIB small business optimism rose to 105.2 in July. Google fired the author of its gender gap/political correctness memo for breaching its "code of conduct," which caused a stir in the markets and techie water coolers yesterday. Retailers are in focus with Amazon, Macy's, Kohl's and JCP earnings on tap this week. Trump is already up and tweeting about the dangers of N. Korea, the Opioid crisis, etc. Also on tap today is the opening salvo on the Treasury refunding, the $24 B 3-year auction. Crude oil is fairly flat near $49.40 after the Saudis cut output more than their quota to offset overproduction elsewhere; OPEC/NOPEC meets later today.