Good morning,

Markets are called to open lower this morning. This is what's happening today:

• German Business Confidence Seen Rising to Six-Month High

• Daimler Spends $2.7b on China Plant to Raise Luxury Sales

• Asian Stocks Decline as Oil Gains, Yen Advances

• BOE’s Bean Says no Signs of Housing Boom Emerging in U.K.

• TNT Said to Plan Sale of Continental European Fashion Business

• Telekom Austria Plans to Sell EU500m New Shares, Standard Says

• Slim to Back KPN’s $11.4b German Sale After Sweetened Bid

• Accor Said Set to Appoint Bazin as CEO, FT Says

• Zurich Insurance Says Finance Chief Pierre Wauthier Found Dead

• Hypo Real Estate Starts Sale of Depfa to Meet EU Conditions

• Portugal’s Mota Wins About EU400m in Latin American Contracts

• Merkel Rebuffs Anti-Euro Hecklers Citing Need to Stay the Course

EARNINGS All times CET, estimates where available:

• Aker Solutions (AKSO NO) 7am, 2Q adj. EPS NOK1.30

• Lundbergforetagen (LUNDB SS) pre-mkt, 2Q

• Banca Popolare di Milano (PMI IM) TBD, 2Q adj. net EU31.3m

• Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna (BPE IM) TBD, 1H

• Banco Popolare (BP IM) TBD, 2Q GAAP net EU101.2m

• UBI Banca (UBI IM) 8am 1H adj. net EU17.5m

• Antofagasta (ANTO LN) 8am, 1H adj. EPS $0.47

• Bunzl (BNZL LN) 8am, 1H adj. EPS GBP0.36

• Petrofac (PFC LN) 8am, 1H adj. EPS $0.68

• Kentz (KENZ LN) 8am, 1H

China’s industrial-profit growth rebounded in July, adding to signs that the world’s second-biggest economy is stabilizing after a two-quarter slowdown and an interbank lending squeeze in June.

Net income rose 12 percent from a year earlier after gaining 6.3 percent in June, the statistics bureau said in Beijing today. Power, telecommunications, and auto manufacturing contributed to the increase, while coal miners’ profits slid.

Today’s data add to higher-than-forecast industrial production in July, a rebound in trade, and a stronger reading for a manufacturing index released last week. At a briefing in Beijing, Yi Gang, a deputy governor of the central bank, said today that a Federal Reserve exit from quantitative easing may have only a “limited” effect on China compared with other emerging economies.

Stock to watcch: Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. is telling employees that a reorganization plan by departing Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will go ahead, seeking to reassure senior managers

who are concerned that the search for a successor will throw turnaround efforts into disarray.

Some members of Microsoft’s senior leadership team e-mailed their staff on Aug. 23 to say they remain committed to Ballmer’s vision and the reorganization, said three people with knowledge of the matter. Some Microsoft executives have seen an increase in outside job offers since the July restructuring plan and others may be tempted to leave after stock grants and bonuses are awarded in late August, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the communications were private.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli