7. -- Demand for physical gold (securitized as SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)) was down substantially for the second quarter -- off 16% from a year ago. Gold's price dropped 25% between April and June of 2013, causing a jump in demand which has now abated. Jewelry demand also dropped by nearly one-third this quarter, further weakening gold prices.
The supply of gold from mines also grew by more than 58 tons compared to the first half of 2013. The price for an ounce of gold was at $1,314.20 Thursday morning.
8. -- Retail sales were disappointing yesterday, as reported by the Commerce Department. Some see this as a bad sign for the third quarter. Shares in retail companies like Macy's (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) have been on a roller coaster due to uncertainty over the state of the economic recovery.
In premarket trading, J.C. Penney was up 0.32% to $9.38, although the stock has lost 27.4% of its value in the past 52 weeks. Macy's was up 0.25% in premarket trading to $56.61. The shares are up 16.4% over a year ago.
9. -- Barclays (BCS) may face up to $2 billion more in fines and legal costs this year, said a research note from an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. The costs stem from the New York Attorney General's inquiry into the company's private stock market, known as a "dark pool," as well as from potential fines for currency manipulation.
Barclays first settled with regulators in 2012 and paid a $450 million fine for manipulating interest rates. Shares of the company's ADR were at $14.67 going into Thursday's trading session.
10. -- The eurozone showed no growth in the second quarter, suggesting that the economic recovery has stalled there. The Ukraine crisis may be discouraging companies to spend and invest, said economists. The German GDP fell by 0.2% in the second quarter, and the French economy did not grow either.
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