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Anyone in there? Can the Head of Operations please make sure the air conditioning is turned off when they leave the office? Thank you. Familiar refrains for some who are stuck at work. The sales staff is not in the building, most fund managers are gone, silence has become the primary sound in many corridors. It is the heart of August and little is happening except for the continuous drone from financial networks soiling the air with a constant hiss from the television. Yesterday if you were paying attention to one network you might have learned that swishing your sports drink in your mouth helps increase your energy level supposedly by 2%. They failed to mention how much your energy level increased if someone simply poured the container over your head. But we digress, the broad markets are open, even if no one seems to care.

The EUR is trading in the lower realms of it higher short-term range and the GBP has found a fairly self-contained value against the USD also. The JPY did lose some value over the past twenty-four hours and the AUD is tracking in a relatively tame manner. In other words range trading is in vogue in forex.

Gold after dropping in value the last two trading sessions has climbed back to its highs around 1341.00, but now the precious metal will likely face resistance. However, without many market participants around the suspicion is that Gold may be an asset that could face some ‘soft probes’ for possible speculative plays. Crude Oil has also risen in value and WTI is testing highs. Grains also showed strength in Chicago. But one day of gains from Chicago does not mean a bull market has emerged for the majority of commodities and traders will likely remain a cautious bunch.

If you are paying attention to most media outlets, Europe has now entered ‘a golden age’ of celebrations surrounding its enormous growth ratios, even if they are largely self-congratulatory. Pardon our sarcasm, but while France and Germany have been held up as glimmering examples of rejuvenation in the past couple of days, doubts have not exactly been washed away no matter how much we are being told the water is safe to swim by a confederation of conformists who sing sweetly.

Retail Sales figures will come from the U.K. today. This as Assumption Day holidays are celebrated in many nations across Europe. The States will actually bring forth a fair amount of data with weekly Unemployment Claims, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, and Industrial Production numbers. On top of that St. Louis Fed President Bullard will be delivering a speech about monetary policy. But will anyone really be paying attention to data and news in the midst of August?

For those paying heed, Retail Sales numbers from the U.S. were not exactly glowing a couple of days ago. Wall Street continued its rather dull and lackluster results yesterday with more declines. Yes, the major indexes continue to traverse record territories and few seem to be worried about a week of negative moves. With a bit more than two full weeks left before September rolls around most trading offices remain tranquil if not empty.