It's hard to figure out if it's a good idea to go long or short into the weekend.
On the one hand, there's the meeting among
, Treasury Secretary
and Japanese Finance Minister
this afternoon in San Francisco. Expectations aren't for anything grand, but there is the possibility that the gathering will mark the beginning of global healing.
On the other hand, with the messy global situation, it's hard to say what kind of new crisis the world will deal traders when they come back in on Tuesday.
At desks on Wall Street, however, what will come next week is of only secondary importance. It's been a bad week and traders just want to get through the day. They just want to go home.
"It's Friday," said one trader. "People are tired. I don't see any urgency to do a whole bunch today. With the long weekend coming up, I think people will go home and try to figure out what to do."
Stocks look good on the open. At 9 a.m. EDT, the
futures were up 3.4, about 5.2 above fair value and indicating a positive open.
With stocks looking firmer, the Treasury market has come under some pressure. The long bond was down 13/32 to 102 18/32, lifting the yield to 5.33%, though it was little affected by the jobs report.
The monthly jobs report came in basically in line with expectations, with the economy adding 365,000 jobs in August, leaving the unemployment rate at 4.5%. Economists had expected 370,000 new jobs and a jobless-rate drop to 4.4%.
Traders are more interested in what will happen at the meeting in San Francisco, and in a speech that Greenspan will give this afternoon in Berkeley. It will be the first chance for the chairman to offer his views on the deepening global economic crisis.
Another tough day in Tokyo. The failure of
and yesterday's late drop on Wall Street conspired to send the
down 218.33, or 1.5%, to 14,042.91. Besides steel makers, bank shares were also under heavy pressure as reform bills continue to be debated in the
In Hong Kong, the
added 169.88, or 2.3%, to 7488.47 -- this despite the news that
put the foreign currency ceiling of both Hong Kong and China under review for a possible downgrade. Again, short-covering, sparked by new short-selling regulations announced this week, supported the market. With the yen's recovery, worries about a yuan devaluation have subsided recently. China-related stocks were strong.
Europe's major indices were all solidly higher. In Frankfurt the
was up 90.77, or 1.9%, to 4902.95. In Paris, the
was up 54.20, or 1.5%, to 3700.65. In London, the
was up 48.5, or 1%, to 5167.2.
Friday's Wake-Up Watchlist
- Avid Technology (AVID) - Get Report and
Tektronix (TEK) set a strategic alliance to help broadcasters make the move from analog to digital production.
Food and Drug Administration asked
AutoCyte (ACYT) for additional information to support its premarket approval application for its
Prep product. Prep is designed to produce liquid-based preparation Pap smears.
Bellwether Exploration set a $5 million stock-buyback program.
Circuit City Group (CC) - Get Report, an electronics retailer, said August sales rose 15%, while same-store sales rose 4% for the month.
CarMax Group (KMX) - Get Report, Circuit City's car-retailing unit, showed an overall sales increase of 72% in August, while same-store sales for August fell 6%.
Hewlett-Packard (HWP) ,
Compaq (CPQ) and
IBM (IBM) - Get Report are challenging
Intel's (INTC) - Get Report influence over a key piece of technology within the personal computer,
The Wall Street Journal reported.
A federal judge ordered
Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report to turn over new materials that government lawyers contend could buoy the feds' antitrust case against the software giant.
Justice Department has filed a sealed court brief arguing that lawyers for
Brown & Williamson Tobacco, a unit of
B.A.T Industries (BTI) - Get Report, even though its price-to-earnings ratio is at 8.9, the lowest of any big bank, "because the near-term outlook is so unpredictable," according to today's "Heard on the Street" column in the
Journal. So far, Bankers Trust is the only big financial institution in the U.S. that expects to be in the red at the end of this quarter because of global financial turmoil.