12:30pm (EST)

It’s rare we hear politicians say they have a “heavy workload” but that is the excuse European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi gave the Federal Reserve for why he won’t be attending the social outing in Jackson Hole this Friday.  The talking heads are working themselves up as they ponder why he is now not attending and the simple answer is he has too much on his plate.

Draghi was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on Saturday but next week’s ECB Governing Council’s meeting is keeping him at his desk.  Wall Street was hoping he would provide some clues to the bond-buying proposal he outlined earlier this month but they will likely have to wait until September 6.  Imagine that.   

It was a classic move by Draghi who has kept the market on pins-and-needles and would prefer to see what Ben Bernanke has to say first.  That’s the bottom line.

As far as economic news, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index “improved” to -9 in August following a reading of -17 in July.  The suit-and-ties were looking for a print of -10.  Elsewhere, the Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index rose 2.3% in June to 142.2 which was ahead of estimates while Consumer Confidence missed expectations after coming in at 60.6.

Earnings for tomorrow include:  Fresh Market (TFM, $61.22, down $0.01), Joy Global (JOY, $54.21, down $0.16), Pandora Media (P, $10.29, up $0.24) and TiVo (TIVO, $9.48, up $0.15).  We have played options on all of these stocks, expect Fresh Market, in the past and there may be an earnings trade out of the group but we have decided to sit on the sidelines.  

We closed another one of our current trades earlier this morning and we have some updates to go over for our other open positions so we have to roll.  As we head to press, the Dow is up 7 points to 13,132 while the S&P 500 is higher by 2 points to 1,412.  The Nasdaq is advancing 10 points to 3,082. 

Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates and we will be back in the morning with the latest and greatest news.