Market mish-mash: Sluggish retail sales and an encouraging outlook from Cisco are cancelling each other out. Dow is down a little in early trading.
Sluggish retail sales: July was another month of not-horrible-but-not-great results. Leaner inventories might have been at play (not as much to sell), as well as the consumer's still-cautious spending mood. Target reported a worse-than-expected 6.5 percent sales decline. (AP)
Kohl's holding up: Sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.4 percent; analysts predicted a 4.3 percent drop. Kohl's is planning a major expansion into Socal, taking over much of the space that had been occupied by Mervyns. And it's hiring. (Bloomberg)
Clunker deal: Senate leaders reach a deal to approve another $2 billion for the popular cash for clunkers program. Final vote is expected today or tomorrow. From the NYT:
Dealers say they have made about a quarter-million new car sales incorporating the rebate, but entering the applications into the government computer system has lagged because of computer problems. The Transportation Department said Wednesday that 184,304 deals had been submitted, with a rebate value of $775.2 million.
More on Jackson deals: A tribute concert, TV special, traveling exhibition and lots of merchandising (including an embossed wine decanter) are in the works. In addition, Columbia Pictures paid concert promoter $60 million for the rights to make a feature-length movie out of rehearsal footage for Jackson's. From the LAT:
In the deal with Columbia -- a division of entertainment giant Sony Corp., which distributes Jackson's music as an adult solo performer -- Jackson's estate would receive 90% of any movie profit and the rest would go to AEG. A final cut of the film must be screened for representatives of his estate no later than Oct. 2, must be rated PG and cannot include material that "presents Michael Jackson in a negative light," the contract says.
Decline in online ads: Research firm IDC reports a 5 percent drop in worldwide spending on Internet advertising. That's the second consecutive quarter that revenues have fallen year-over-year. Real growth isn't expected until the middle of next year. (Digital Daily)