The FTSE in London pared losses, settling down 0.25%, while the DAX in Germany closed up 0.46%, gaining some strength on stimulus optimism. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled off 1.47% and the Nikkei in Japan finished down 1.09%.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 6/32, raising the yield to 1.598%. The greenback slumped 0.12%, according to the dollar index.
October crude oil futures settled up 6 cents at $95.36 a barrel and December gold futures lost $2 to settle at $1,694 an ounce.
On the corporate front, FedEx (FDX), the package delivery giant, said it now expects earnings of $1.37 to $1.43 a share in its fiscal first quarter ended in August, well below its original forecast for a profit of $1.45 to $1.60 a share.FedEx said global weakness "constrained revenue growth at FedEx Express more than expected in the earlier guidance." Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.56 a share in the first quarter. The stock closed down 2%. Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated he has no plans to sell any of his stock holdings in the social networking giant for at least 12 months. The shares rose nearly 5%. Shares of Nokia (NOK - Get Report) tanked 16% on heavy volume after the company unveiled its Lumia 820 and 920 smartphones based on Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. Guidewire Software ( GWRE ) shares leapt 10% after the provider of system software to the global property and casualty insurance industry reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street's expectations. Dollar General (DG) hiked its full-year earnings guidance, after posting stronger fiscal-second quarter profit, as demand for basic goods and cheaper foods rose. The discount retailer also announced that its board has approved the buyback of up to an additional $500 million of its common stock. The stock added less than 1%. Heckmann (HEK) shares extended strong gains from the previous session, popping more than 4%, as investors stayed enthusiastic about the company's plan to purchase privately-held environmental services firm Power Fuels for about $380.5 million in cash and stock.
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