Stocks in New York were trading with modest gains early Friday as the

Federal Reserve

prepared to convene and investors waited for the latest word on a temporary lifeline for the U.S. auto industry.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 25 points at 8654, and the

S&P 500

was edging up 3 points at 883. The

Nasdaq

added 2 points to 1542.

Stocks in New York managed to close in slightly positive territory Friday despite continued layoffs and after a bill to bailout the U.S. automakers died in Congress. For the week, the Dow lost 0.1%, the S&P added 0.4%, and the Nasdaq added 2%.

A federal rescue plan for Detroit's Big Three Automakers failed to pass the Senate late Thursday after the United Auto Workers union refused Republicans' demand for aggressive wage reductions. The House had already approved the plan to provide aid to

Ford

(F) - Get Report

,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Chrysler

.

Chrysler and GM, though, have said they may have only weeks of sustainability remaining. President Bush is urging action on $25 billion in proposed

emergency loans for the automakers

. The White House said it might now be willing to use money drawn from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The Treasury also said it's prepared to pitch in.

The biggest news on Wall Street last week, however, was the arrest of market-maker Bernie Madoff on charges of securities fraud. The SEC alleges that the 70-year-old Wall Street fixture lost some $50 billion of client money in what they say amounted to a giant Ponzi scheme.

Nomura Holdings

(NMR) - Get Report

,

Banco Santander

(STD)

,

BNP Paribas

,

Royal Bank of Scotland

(RBS) - Get Report

and hedge fund Man Group all revealed

significant exposures

to the fraudulent scheme.

Meanwhile, diversified technology and manufacturing company

Honeywell

(HON) - Get Report

reaffirmed 2008 expectations, but said it expects profit to fall between 6% and 16% in 2009.

The Federal Reserve will convene a two-day meeting today and is expected to announce on Tuesday that it will lower interest rates nearly to zero.

OPEC is scheduled to meet this week to evaluate the effectiveness of its earlier decision to cut production targets by 1.5 million barrels per day, and to weight the need for more cuts. Another OPEC production cut could help stabilize oil prices that have fallen with global economic hardships.

Tracking commodities, crude oil was rising $3.52 to $49.80 a barrel. Gold was gaining $9.20 to $829.70 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was losing 6/32 to yield 2.55%, and the 30-year was down 4/32, yielding 3.04%. The dollar was weaker against the euro, pound, and yen.

Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were edging higher -- up 0.6% and 1.5%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei ended higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with gains.

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