90 seconds at 9 am: US stocks down 0.9% as jobless claims rise and consumer confidence weakens; Euro-zone doubts return; Chinese, Euro factory output contracts

Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news US stocks fell around 0.9% overnight as doubts arose about the likelihood of more US Federal Reserve money printing and concerns about the Euro-zone's troubles re-emerged.

See more on US stocks here at Bloomberg.

Also, US jobless claims rose to a one month high and US consumer confidence slumped to its lowest level since January, driven in part by a surge in petrol (gas) prices. New Zealand regular petrol prices hit a record high NZ$2.23/ltr overnight.

Meanwhile, US Federal Reserve St Louis President James Bullard poured cold water on the suggestion the US Federal Reserve should launch a third round of quantitative easing or money printing to buy government bonds, saying better figures since the last Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting in early August made minutes released yesterday from the meeting less relevant. The minutes reported the FOMC was considering more stimulus 'fairly soon'.

However, US Federal Reserve Chicago President Charles Evans called for monetary policy easings around the world, including in China.

Markets are in a holding pattern awaiting US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech to the Jackson Hole symposium for central bankers in Wyoming on August 31, followed soon after by policy making meetings and decisions on possible money printing by both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

Concerns are also growing about Europe's apparent indecisiveness and division over how to solve the Euro-zone crisis. Spain has yet to formally request a bailout, which is seen as the necessary trigger for mass ECB bond buying to bring down Southern European bond yields. Reuters reported however, that a Spanish bailout request was imminent.

Elsewhere, French President Francois Hollande is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend for the first time in weeks to discuss the crisis and the apparent plan by the ECB for massive bond buying. They are also expected to discuss an extension of Greece's bailout plan. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble has already indicated Germany is against any extension of Greek's bailout.

The renewed concerns about the Eurozone came as the Markit flash PMI for the Euro-zone indicated a 0.5% contraction in Euro-zone GDP in the September quarter. See more here at Reuters.

In China, the HSBC Markit flash PMI found factory output there would contract for a 10th month and at the fastest rate since November. See more here on Bloomberg.

(Updated with more detail)

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Bingo ...................... are Germany  about to exit the union.....will the duck finally be stomped out.....!!!
 Is this true...........? well we'll have to wait for breaking news now wont we..?

Hey Count, why don't you save "the markets" all that indecision and give us a run down on what Bernanke is going to say :-)

He's gonna say ......It's stimulus people but not as we know it.....it's a fiscal cliff Jim, and that means collateral damage, some of the herd that took the plunge are about to find  the bungee over extended.
Lesson ........ground zero .......is hard........you don't get the bounce this time.
His decision scarfo , has to arrive at a point where speculative investment gets seperated from productive investment.
The thing that amuses me here is the number of Financial journos screaming for him to  put the clown face on and do the same stupid trick , just  so they can laugh an deride the fool..., I guess it makes them feel less like hacks.

Germany won't leave voluntarily , the others will have to boot them out  ....... when you're running large trade surpluses each year , and cosily pegged to a weak currency , who's gonna exit that Shangri-La ...... me old china !

I don't disagree with that GBH......one or two of the impoverished want to be the head boys on the block...as I have posted here before, ......trading what with whom will be the biggie for them though.
 Are the frogies playing both ends againt the middle...?...or are they actually broke themselves and keeping up appearances.......looking for opportunities...?

Gotta nip orf ( killing wildling Aleppo Pines today ) : Promise to play nicely with the other kiddies today , Count .....
..... and have a peeksie behing the bike sheds . I have a feeling you'll locate the missing Wolly there !
...... and do be nice to Uncle Bernie : He's retiring soon . Give him a fond farewell  ( pick the security card out of his pocket before he leaves the building ! )

Don't forget to sing the Lumberjack  song (with full voice) in keeping with you positivity.
 ave a good one Mon Ami.

Yep...50 Shades of Grey.......and GBH.....hits the sweet spot..........(in the market)

It is obvious what Central Banks will do (in absence of Political will ) whenever the economy goes south....PRINT.
Despite all the results from previous QEs proving that it does not work, CBs can only do one thing ...PRINT.  They obviously cannot do the reverse....it would be disaster and they would all end up in jail. 
In the end, the US will have QE3 just to keep the stock market afloat (at least one part of the economy is alive)
In the end Germany will allow "unlimited" bond purchase by the ECB (disguised money printing) inorder to keep the "dream" alive.
In the end China will have to print Reminbi to pay for all the Banks losses from dead infrastructure and properties bubbles.
In the next year or two we will have massive money printing by all THREE major economies (not to mention Japan which is already printing from a red hot printing press for the past 5 years)...... 

kin regardless of the print print n more print, there has been a change in vocabulary out of the Fed for some time now ,  what has been the case ,as you so aptly put it .."to keep the dream alive",..... well if you have been following the commentary  out of the Fed  over the last eight months you would have  seen a vision of Bernake standing over Mr Market as he lays in that blissfull slumber , shouting for F#*ks sake wake up man  the buildings on fire and I don't have enough hose to do the job.
I realise it's an oversimplification , but you get the gist...?

We all know that QE has not worked, not least Bernarke himself, but then that is the only bullet he has. The US economy will continue into recession soon and Europe is already into it or right at its door, with China following right behind.
Given this scenerio, what choice does the Fed, ECB, BOC has ?? They do not have fiscal, political powers to do anything that is required (restructure) but only one bullet....money.
When the economy falters again and the Banks goes into coma from loan defaults again, what will their action be ??
Will they fire the gun or not ?? Your bet ??

Whew...kin, I was a lot more comfortable calling no QE the last three or four times, but I'll admit less so this time and for the reasons you have stated, but ultimately it's a prop, it's a facade of green tissue, like rallying leapers at the top of a fiscal cliff while minning it at the bottom....
As I said , it will be QE , kin but ( I think) not as we know it, a  diviation in focus and applied strategy, perhaps causing a shift in lending , the circumvention of legacy banks , shifting the point of impact.....
 there are pitfalls to any number of scenarios , but inescapably  some long haired institutions are going to get a haircut....kicking and screaming or otherwise.

I think we all are....skin head length........

I reckon debt to GDP is the one to watch. It is the closest I can think of to illustrate the outcome of (M.V)+i=P.Q. Not perfect, just closest. If you take the US then it is starting to look parabolic, but it isn't quite there yet. For parabolic is where I believe it will go, only way forward short of default or haircut as you put it. The equation also says lower velocity and lower interest rates. How it expands is the question and I would expect something novel at some point.
Of course the US might not be the country to watch:-P

Just so not like them to follow  though is it scarfie, I mean they been sitting on their hands watching the E.U. for maybe what to do's and seen nothing but what not to do.
Novel ....yes I think so , somebody  (big) somewhere in this (Big) mess has got to break the cycle of pretend and extend.......Depression is such a feared word, but the world did not end there did it..., the post depression creation of this monster, that is the Global finance industry may in fact be the only way to bring it to heel .  

We have to be careful around the "they" in exactly what we mean. I am as guilty as any in applying it too freely. I don't actually buy conspiracy theories, it actually assigns more ability to men than I believe exists. Clues lie in figuring out how people behave. Just because people are further up the food chain doesn't mean they behave any differently, just the volume and consequences are greater. Take your average Remuera doctor, they are just trying to get the best yield on their savings with little thought to anything else. They honestly believe everything will keep working, they don't see a need to change. Self centredness and/or a lack of awareness is what drives this, all the way to the top. The direction we take is because of the combined effect large numbers of the people think this way, drifting along until the is a direct effect on them. that is when capitulation might occur and their thoughts will turn to alternatives to protect their self interest. That is where the clues lie to what is next.
If there are answers to this mess we are approaching, it lies not in numbers or systems. It will come from community and society structures that mitigate self centred behaviours. 

Sorry scarfo, I specifically meant the Fed as opposed to their masters, once you attempt to delve into what lays beyond the Fed it all becomes conjecture and conspiracy, "that" just may suit "them", I do not know.......
 I feel a song coming on......If I ruled the world...hmmmhmmhmm tra la la la la something something  tra la la...foie gras...

Yes, and the FED are included in that lot:-) Why not a song, it is Friday.

To start with, you talk rubbish "we all know" simply isnt true...its not a fact....its your personal far right wing opinion, nothing more.
QE has stopped us going into a depression. The obama plan also helped but both were simply too small and mis-alocated due to politics.
If you wanted to do QE and spending properly a) give ppl tax refunds as a lump sum(s) then spend on Govn projects such as national power grids and green generation....
But instead we threw money into insolvent banks, the very ones that applauded and lobbied for the de-regulation that caused this mess....like duh.
If by fire the gun you mean printing, yes I cant see there is any other option....classic keynesian when up against the zero bound and facing the abyss of a Greater Depression.....panic here we come, it cant be big enough of course, so it will fail.

QE kept out a depression....so atually yes it worked. 

worked for who?

The world....thinking at a macro scale....sure some ppl have suffered....the Q is to consider just how bad it would have been for them and more if (when) we go into a Depression.

What if the world actually needs the depression to wake up?
The financial system is a fraud, "economic" growth is finished, democracy has been taken over by corruption and crony capitalism/plutocracy.  We are destroying the main organism that provides us with life all in the pursuit of financial/material wealth/tangible growth that can never be satisfied. 
If we're heading to a depression anyway what good has come in prolonging the inevitable?

Just got though saying something quite similar above meh....it may be the only way to kill the beast , or get it on the leash. One thing you can bet on is that the deferral of defeat by the pretend and extend brigade suggests they at least have as much to fear from depression as the multitudes, as we know only too well,the Global Financial Industry does nothing out of benevolence.

yes...the more time we give them the more time they have to dump on others....such as us....
The good thing is really that because they so believe in their style of voodoo economics that they have (hopefully) positioned themselves for their fantasy eventuating when the say "make it so" which will see then crash and burn. Give them time and they can dodge their own bullet, we dont want that.

Hence why Im sitting here and almost wanting Romney and Ryan in the Whitehouse, they and their voodoo economics will ensure it.  A big % of that is Obama is a liar and useless......its just a case of the lesser if two evils IMHO.
Im consious that such a wish will hurt many and even myself....but really I wonder if in the long run it wont work out the lest painful and misery, I agree.

Worked for the Banksters.
Worked for quite a few of  the people who have gone long leverage
How many have been thrown in jail?
It has been an asymmetrical gamble.  Heads the bank wins and the banksters get very fat bonuses
Tails, the taxpayer loses, and the banksters just get fat bonuses.
No reason not to gamble again. Same people in charge. No creative destruction
On a macro view, I believe there would have been a Short, Sharp, very ugly downturn. And it would now be well into the rear view mirror.

One that I think will unravel, really soon.

Why not to go back to a gold standard
"This book offers a reassessment of the international monetary problems that led to the global economic crisis of the 1930s. It explores the connections between the gold standard--the framework regulating international monetary affairs until 1931--and the Great Depression that broke out in 1929. Eichengreen shows how economic policies, in conjunction with the imbalances created by World War I, gave rise to the global crisis of the 1930s. He demonstrates that the gold standard fundamentally constrained the economic policies that were pursued and that it was largely responsible for creating the unstable economic environment on which those policies acted. The book also provides a valuable perspective on the economic policies of the post-World War II period and their consequences."
"A return to a fixed money supply would also remove the central bank’s ability to offset demand shocks by varying interest rates. That could mean a more volatile economy and higher average unemployment over time."

Indeed Steven....the agument to do so profferred on it's merit,  however it needs to also outline who would be in fear of such action, there are a number of avenues that would bring about the end of  the complete fraud that is the Global Financial Markets , all of which involve the acceptance of defeat by those directing the underwriters to use any means at their disposal to prevent such a defeat...and that includes open theft, fraud,and treacherous deciet......with contempt for moral law.

If the republican party wants it, it sure wont be the rich.......(suffering).  If anything it suggests unloading, big time.
I agree the entire financial system is a fraud....and it cant be paid back....so the Q is really how many years do we have before we figure that out?
Also I could be cynical and say JK sees this melt down and wants the money to come to NZ so its "safe"...see my first line.
In Latvia I think they had complete families agreeing to help with mortgages in arreas when the sensible thing to do was walk away. It seems the abusers have no limts on how far they will go to take their pound of flesh. 
All goes when globalisation goes.

Steven, I think you are right - it is just a matter of time. The Fiat era is a bit like Gentlemens' Agreements, they are only worth something whilst there are gentlemen present. Eventually some hitherto unnoticed trigger event will set off the financial destruction you allude to and from that I can only see (I'm repeating myself now) two possible states: either a Amish or a Mad Max scenaro - more likely the latter, I fear.
Regards, Ergophobia  

Fiat, yes...
Im hoping for the (non-religious) amish way....the mad max way is what I fear we will get.

Steven - your quote: "Why not go back to go"? How large is the Worlds Gold Stock Supply?
How large is the Worlds Money Supply?  Yesterday Gold was about US1650 or so an ounce.
How many ounces of Gold would be needed to return to a Gold Standard? Shortage of Gold too many dollars -  I know whats going to happen to Gold Prices and the dollar.

All goes when globalisation goes.
You said a mouthful there Steven...!, The sad thing is the Concept had the bones to benifit citizens of the world ,including the developing economies, the perverse putrification of the Concept  by those financiers who saw unlimited opportunity to profit and produce nothing  while socialising any level of risk undermining the entire charter of the Concept.
I still see a return to protectionism , and think it will be fuelled by the diminished identities of those who took part in this Globalisation fraud in good faith.

"I still see a return to protectionism........fuelled by the diminished identities"
Which I why I wonder on the gold standard. Is almost like "diminished (amoral) identities" having been allowed free to pillage freely throughout the world for 3 or 4 decades now want to ensure they can withdraw and hold those profits without risk of loss/recovery.
Globalisation is really the moving of materials from place of origin to place of conversion and then onto place of sale and use using cheap (fossil) energy....It doesnt work at oil over $80USD...and probably not over $50USD. 
So I think globalisation will be abandoned as un-economic/affordable....at that point global finance is gone....if it even lasts that long anyway....I give it  a few years max myself.

Where does all this contraction, losses and "bad news" leave New Zealand. If no country is buying, when do we realise that riding on the cows teet will leave us no wiggle room. In other words, when does the commodities market reflect the actual state of the worlds spending ability?

thats the trick - it never will. look at history and its always been like this. ups and downs and winners and losers. its no different this time.

Hey GG,
Dont take my word for it; how about a little investment company called Pimco.
'Yet the 6.6% real return belied a commonsensical flaw much like that of a chain letter or yes – a Ponzi scheme.'

Hugh, the article quotes John Key as saying the land is not worth a lot in its current state.
This shows that Key has no idea about the reality on the ground.
Land in the CBD was being snapped up at strong prices (I believe the CCC itself purchased a Gloucester St site next to the Art Gallery at about $3000/m2).
Some sales may have been on the low side and the very prime locations which suited tall office buildings with limited retail may have seen a slight fall because tall buildings are now unlikely, but the areas in the frame were generally considered to be worth the same or more than equivalent vacant lots pre earthquake.
Market value of the land in the frame ranges from $1000/m2 to probably $3000/m2 for land on High St.  An average might be $1500/m2 (excl GST).  That puts the minimum purchase cost at about $300million.  Plus another $200million for the other sites required.
Half a billion dollars!  Why?  Where's that coming from?  Who does it help?  No one!  What does it recover?  Nothing! 
Bankrupt ideas, from morally and financially bankrupt politicians.