The Florida recount is over, and it favors a George W. Bush win by just more than 300 votes. But Vice President Al Gore's campaign indicated yesterday that they'd be asking for a manual recount and would support lawsuits over the controversial West Palm Beach county "butterfly ballot."
This morning, the Bush campaign asked the Gore people to back off their support of legal action, further politicizing an already tense situation after yesterday's dueling press conferences and Florida stumping by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Add overseas absentee ballots to the equation and the outcome will remain uncertain until the middle of next week at the earliest.
And with uncertainty no good for markets, futures had soured rather nastily this morning, especially the
futures, which are feeling pressure not only from the up-for-grabs election, but from last night's earnings release from
Nasdaq 100 futures on
were off 28 to 3030, a fair-value plummet of about 47 based on figures calculated by
. Broader markets, as represented by the
S&P 500 futures
, were not quite as bad. On Globex, they were off 1.3 to 1402, a drop of about 5.5 based on fair-value as calculated by
Last night, Dell
released third-quarter earnings in line with lowered analysts' expectations. But the kicker is that the company warned about future earnings and slumped heavily
in after-hours trading. Over on
, where stocks can trade even after the markets have closed in New York, the picture was looking a little grim. Dell last traded at $26.13, a drop of $2.20 from its composite close of $28.38.
And along with Dell, other Nasdaq names were not doing as well.
, which closed yesterday at $41.38, last traded at $40.50, while
, one of yesterday's heaviest traded stocks and a recent stinker, traded exactly where it left off yesterday, which ain't good. It was last at $16.13, way off its 52-week high of $61 and change.
Overseas markets were tentative at midday, as they wait, yet again, for American markets to open so they can figure out which way too go. The London
was off 51.8 to 6390.4 and Paris'
was down 31.2 to 6239.9. Germany was a contrarian. The
was up 4.4 to 6963.9.
Asian markets were doing a freakishly accurate
impression, taking a bump and then taking the plunge. Japan's
fell 71.5 to 14,988.5, while the Hong Kong
fell 115.4 to 15,389.4.
If early morning indicators, both domestic and global, are any indication, things could be rather bumpy at the open. Keep your pants on.
For Thursday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.