After a partial holiday in the US and a full holiday in Canada, North American traders get back to work this morning to find stock markets giving back some of their recent gains. This appears to be a normal trading correction with indices still trading well above where they were a few weeks ago. There have been a number of excuses for this decline including : weak Chinese imports (ignoring that exports and headline trade balance were much better than the street was expecting), weak Germany ZEW (likely due to Volkswagen impact). In addition, comments from FOMC Governor Brainard (who doesn’t get out and speak often) on downside risks to the economy which put her firmly in the dovish camp, appear to be weighing on markets. Overall, these excuses appear to be pretty lame for a takedown which if probably why losses so far have been moderate. Interestingly, the FTSE is down less than the Dax with strong UK same store sales providing some support. Still today’s action shows that the “bad news is good news” liquidity trade continues to wind down. We’re near the end of the weakest time of the year for stocks and may see more choppiness over the next few days as we move through a transition phase. Fed speculation may also impact markets with the next big decision just over two weeks away now. Corporate News Johnson & Johnson $1.49 vs street $1.46 InBev Has agreed to purchase SABMiller for £44.00 per share in cash wti9h a partial stock alternative, a 33% premium to the SABMiller close on Sept 14th. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: China trade balance $60.3B vs street $48.2B China exports (1.1%) vs street (7.4%) China imports (20.4%) vs street (16.0%) UK consumer prices (0.1%) vs street 0.0% UK core CPI 1.0% vs street 1.1% UK retail prices 0.8% vs street 1.0% UK producer input prices (13.3%) vs street (13.0%) UK producer output prices (1.8%) as expected UK ONS house prices 5.2% vs street 5.0% UK same store sales 2.6% vs street 1.5% Germany ZEW current 55.2 vs street 64.0 Germany ZEW expectations 1.9 vs street 6.5 Germany consumer prices 0.0% as expected Sweden consumer prices 0.1% vs street 0.0% Japan consumer confidence 40.6 vs street 41.5 Upcoming significant announcements include: There are no major economic announcements scheduled for the US or Canada today.