News In Brief

Shrugging off Europe’s problems?

Paddy Hirsch Aug 17, 2011

Investors were all hot and bothered about Europe yesterday. Today, maybe not so much. Markets here are up as investors focus on good earnings news.

Markets in Europe and Asia are mixed today, after France and Germany released plans for closer euro zone integration, but stopped short of increasing the size of the region’s rescue fund and rejected for now the idea of a common euro bond.

Domestic news appears to be driving trading in the US. Bloomberg reports wholesale costs in the U.S. rose more than forecast in July. Prices for tobacco, trucks and pharmaceuticals rose, showing declines in commodity expenses have yet to filter to other goods. News released by Target and Staples also encouraged traders. Target posted higher quarterly profit, on good back-to-school sales, and Staples raised its profit outlook and posted better-than-expected earnings.

The producer price index rose 0.2 percent, following a 0.4 percent drop in June. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent increase. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy, climbed 0.4 percent, the most since January, Bloomberg said.

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