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1. G8: Not That Great
By Marc Chandler
8:27 a.m. EDT

The G-8 meeting is wrapping up, and there have been no surprises to speak of. The global economies and financial systems appear too fragile to begin reversing the emergency measures. There were the usual platitudes about the Doha trade round and promises to avoid protectionism.

Of note, especially in light of comments in recent weeks from officials warning that currency appreciation would jeopardize their economic recoveries or in other ways underscore the benefits of soft currencies, the G-8 encouraged countries to refrain from competitive currency devaluations.

After rejecting initiatives by the Chinese and Russians (according to news reports) to formally discuss reform of the international monetary order to reduce the role of the dollar, the G-8 draft indicates support for a "stable" and "well-functioning" international monetary system.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry reaffirmed that China supports creating a diversified international reserve currency. This is hardly news. Numerous officials, even in China, Russia and Brazil, recognize that what they want is not reasonable or possible in the short run.

Going forward, while the talk persists, the political benefits are positive for China, as we are not talking about how the yuan has essentially been re-pegged against the dollar, or how Chinese consumption as a percentage of GDP has fallen, or how the incredible growth in loans (doubled in June from May and have already surpassed the full-year goal) may be fueling over-investment and an asset bubble of their own.

That said, this week's developments in China, especially the social unrest that led to President Hu's early departure from the international gathering in Italy and the detention of several Rio Tinto employees on "espionage" charges, illustrates that the yuan and China are not in a particularly strong position to challenge the role of the dollar or the U.S. in the world economy anytime soon.

No positions.


2. June Same-Store Sales: Move Along, No Recovery Here
By Alan Farley
8:42 a.m. EDT

June same-store sales (actual vs. expectations):
  • Costco (COST): -6.0% vs. -6.1%
  • Stage Stores (SSI): -12.6% vs. -8.8%
  • Buckle (BKE): +9.6% vs. +12.4%
  • Children's Place (PLCE): -12.0% vs. -8.6%
  • Limited (LTD): -12.0% vs. -8.1%
  • Bon-Ton Stores (BONT): -8.0% vs. -8.0%
  • Fred's (FRED): +0.2% vs. -0.5%
  • Dillard's (DDS): -14% vs. -10.3%
  • BJ's Wholesale (BJ): -7.5% vs. -7.4%
  • Macy's (M): -8.9% vs. -8.8%
  • American Eagle (AEO): -11% vs. -7.8%
  • Abercrombie (ANF); -32% vs. -27.8%
  • Gap (GPS): -10.0% vs. -8.3%
  • Aeropostale (ARO): +12.0% vs. +10.2%
  • Nordstrom (JWN): -10.0% vs. -10.6%
  • Saks (SKS): -4.4% vs. 9.8%
  • Target (TGT): -6.2% vs. -5.9%

Go back and look at the short-sale setup on American Eagle I posted in Monday's column. The sell signal will trigger if yesterday's low gets taken out.

No positions.


3. Jobless Claims Hurting Treasuries
By Tom Graff
8:54 a.m. EDT

The Treasury market is still trying to figure out what to do with last Friday's nonfarm payroll number. So today's jobless claims got a little more scrutiny than usual, and I think that's why the 10-year is off nearly three-quarters of a point and the curve is 5 basis points steeper.

Today's 30-year auction is critical. There are few technical stop points between here and 3% on 10s. But then again, there isn't much between here at 3.5% either. So today's auction could either cause a substantial reversal or a substantial rally. Did Treasury buyers get all they wanted from yesterday's 10-year auction? Or do they want some long bonds too?

I've taken some of my long Treasury chips off the table after yesterday's big rally. Feels like we've had too many steller auctions. Eventually we've got to get a mediocre one here.

No positions.


4. A Note on Energy...
By Bob Byrne
9:57 a.m. EDT

One sector that has been clubbed to death is energy -- the oil service and natural gas names to be exact. Everyone is now aware that crude and natural gas have been hit hard, and while I wouldn't look for the Oil Services HOLDRs ( OIH) to sprint back to $115, I do expect more aggressive buying to provide better intraday surges. Near-term support levels to watch on OIH are $88.80 and $87.50 with resistance at $94.75 and $97.50.

A few oil service names I watch are Schlumberger ( SLB), Transocean ( RIG) and Diamond Offshore Drilling ( DO). On the natural gas front, I watch Apache ( APA), Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), Devon ( DVN) and XTO Energy ( XTO).

Given the volatility of the energy sector, I would be inclined to enter on pullbacks rather than breakouts. Let price come to you...

I'm not passing judgment on the fundamentals of the energy group or of these companies, simply that the sector should see decent upside volatility in the short term (especially suited for the daytraders among us).

None... though I trade the sector often.


5. Foreclosure Green Shoots?
By Tim Melvin
12:13 p.m. EDT

I just got my first email about the positive news of falling foreclosures. I expect to get many more between now and the end of September.

I am always mystified by people who seem to base their conclusions and investment operations on headlines alone. Of course foreclosures are down -- they will be until the fall. California has a foreclosure moratorium in place until then.

So does Marshall & Ilsley ( MI), a regional bank with a large mortgage portfolio. All this is going to do is delay the inevitable. Many of these homes, particularly in California, Nevada and Florida are so far under water there is no way to rework the loan short of giving the house away.

No positions.


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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.