This morning, the Commerce Department reported that the value of U.S. exports of goods and services to the rest of the world increased 2.7% in July, the fastest seasonally adjusted growth in more than 3 years. With imports growing 1.8%, the deficit between imports and exports narrowed by 0.3% to $59.2 billion in July from an upwardly revised $59.4 billion in June, close to expectations. Both exports and imports were at record levels in July, reflecting strong global demand and higher prices.

Meanwhile, a survey released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and UBS Securities reported that chain-store sales for the week ended September 8 rose 2.9%. On a week-over-week basis, sales rose 0.3%. For September, ICSC expects retail sales to increase by 2.5%, on a year-over-year basis.