12:00pm (EST)

Futures were pointing towards a slightly higher open throughout the night after China’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) met expectations after coming in at 7.5%.  It remains to be seen if this is their “real” number but all signs are pointing towards a slowing China in the coming months and with GDP numbers coming down for China, this will be a bigger story in the back half of the year if there is some fudging going on.

Earnings are also coming in ahead of expectations to start the week as Citigroup (C, $51.19, up $0.38) beat the Street that has led to some continued strength in the Financials, for the most part.  The company reported earnings of $1.25 a share on revenue of $20 billion versus the suit-and-ties calls for $1.18 a share on $19.8 billion in revs.  Goldman Sachs (GS, $161.44, up $1.33) will report their numbers on Tuesday and could challenge 52-week highs north of $168 on a good quarter.

Despite the bevy of good news, there has been some weakness with Retail Sales coming in softer-than-expected and for Ben Speak on Wednesday and Thursday.  Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, will testify before the zombies but we doubt he will say anything to shake the market following his most recent, dovish, QE (quantitative easing) comments.  The Fed Beige Book is also due out on Wednesday.

We don’t mind the flat action because we have a number of current trades that are showing nice pops today.  We also have a New Trade we are adding so let’s get on it.

As we head to press, the Dow is up 15 points to 15,479 while the S&P 500 is higher by 2 points to 1,682.  The Nasdaq is advancing 5 points to 3,605.

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