Midsummer is known in the news biz as "silly season." In the absence of real news, headlines run "MAN BITES DOG." It's a little early this year, but it got hot early. The usual time is on the cusp of July to August, when Europe shuts down for a month's vacation; this year Europe may shut down somewhat later, for longer. Only one piece of hard economic data this week: An index gauging the sentiment of small-business owners dumped three points of index optimism in June. That's a lot for a single month, but the overall index value is still in the middle of the chatter back to 2010. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer confidence fell in July versus expected gain. Confidence measures are among the softest of data, but usually rise when gasoline falls -- not so now. Then the sillies ... The U.S. Treasury auctioned $21 billion in new 10-year notes at an all-time record-low yield of 1.46 percent. There were 3.5 times as many bids a...
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