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Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Europe regulators ban short selling, Consumer sentiment drops to three-decade low

Daryl Paranada Aug 12, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

Regulators in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain today did something that typically only gets done in a market crisis. They banned the short-selling of some bank stocks.

President Barack Obama is expected to meet Friday afternoon with chief executives from Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, Xerox Corp , BlackRock, and Silver Bridge, according to a source familiar with the plans.

U.S. consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest point in more than three decades in early August, as fears of a stalled recovery gelled with despair over government policies — a survey released Friday showed.

Americans spent more on cars and gas in July. The Commerce Department said today retail sales jumped by the biggest amount in four months. And the government says sales were higher than originally thought in May and June.

JC Penney is reporting flat profits for the last quarter thanks to aggressive discounting to bring in shoppers. The company is also predicting sales will only rise by a couple percent next quarter.

U.S. business inventories rose slightly less than expected in June, suggesting firms remained cautious about future demand at the end of the second quarter.

The S&P 500 has had alternating gains and losses of greater than 4 percent for the last four days. That’s the first time since the index started in 1928 that something like that has happened.

A Chinese bullet train manufacturer recalled more than 4 dozen of its trains after a crash last month killed 40 people in China. The recall adds to signs Beijing is scaling back ambitious expansion plans for its high-speed rail network.

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