European Union Showing Signs of Recovery; Water Wars: Florida to Sue Georgia Over Usage; New Chinese Pharma Investigation to Cast Wider Net

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European Union Showing Signs of Recovery (Reuters)

Europe’s two largest economies, Germany and France, both grew in the second quarter this year, sending a hopeful sign that the 18-month European recession may be weakening. The German economy grew by .7 percent and the French economy by .5 percent, sending European shares to a 10-week high. Investors will see another key piece of data this morning, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the European Union (EU) in Q2 is released. Another positive report from the EU GDP and European shares could pick up a lot of skyward momentum.

Water Wars: Florida to Sue Georgia Over Usage (Bloomberg)

Next month, the state of Florida plans to sue Georgia, claiming its neighbor is consuming too much water and reducing the amount reaching Florida’s residents.  According to those familiar with the lawsuit, the growth of the metropolitan area around Atlanta is largely to blame. The regional increase in water use is collapsing Florida’s oyster industry in the region. Florida Governor Rick Scott had this to say, “That’s our water… They’ve impacted our families. They’ve impacted the livelihood of people down here. Investors wondering how they may profit from this situation can look to the oyster industry, since the bay in Florida that’s been decimated provided 10 percent of the nation’s oysters. Just don’t bet on a legal windfall for the oyster farmers anytime soon.

New Chinese Pharma Investigation to Cast Wider Net (YahooFinance)

Tomorrow, China will intensify its probe into widespread bribery in the pharmaceutical and medical services sector with a second three-month investigation. China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is in charge of regulating the market and is looking to stamp out bribery, fraud and anti-business practices. The agency will lead the investigation and liaison with the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).  According to Sebastian Evrard, of Beijing office of the Jones Day law firm, this new partnership can affect change, “It seems that the NDRC and SAIC have learned from their recent experience that they have the power to force companies to change their practices and bring prices down. Investors should keep an eye out for any pharmaceutical and medical-device companies named in this investigation. It will be bad news for the companies cited, as well as their investors.

Exclusive  Euro-zone Optimism Running at Two-Year High

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Even as the U.S. stock market struggled to find its footing during the past two weeks after a strong July, a handful of other stock markets in the world have continued their blistering rise into August. Foremost among these star performers are Europe’s crisis-ridden “PIIGS” -- Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. That news may come as a big surprise, since only a year ago, pundits were predicting Greece's imminent exit from the euro. Wall Street's strong performance so far

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