North America

+ To date, 82% of corporations are beating 2nd quarter earnings estimates and only 68% are beating top line revenues but over 80% of the economic indicators over the past month have come in below consensus.

+ There is an estimated $1.8 trillion of cash on corporate balance sheets, this represents about 19% of the total market capitalization of the S&P500. These funds could be for 1) share buybacks, 2) increase dividends, 3) capital spending 4) acquisitions.

+ According to M. Moyer (“The Dirty Truth About Plug-In Hybrids”. Scientific American 303(1):54-55. July 2010), electric vehicles could increase greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% in comparison to ordinary non-electric vehicles, if the electricity required is from coal-fired plants.

+ California state workers will again be forced to take 3 unpaid furlough days a month, losing as much as 14% of their pay.

The Rest of the World

+ India: Raised key interest rates by 50 bps to 4.5% to tame inflation.

+ Dutch Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis: World trade volume is now 3% below its peak in 2008 and Global Industrial Production declined 9.8% in advanced countries and increased 11.1% in emerging countries.

+ Europe: Confidence in the economic outlook rose in July to the highest level since March 2008.

+ Germany: Unemployment fell for the 13th consecutive month to 7.6% from 7.7%.