Stocks in New York were barely lower out of the gate Friday as various strategies to treat the economic recession continued to be top-of-mind.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

was recently falling 3 points at 9730, and the

S&P 500

was down 1 point to 834. The


also was lower by 1 point at 1541.

News late Thursday that the Obama administration is readying efforts to help distressed homeowners breathed a last-hour rally into a market that was down most of the day.

Earlier in the week, stocks took a beating after U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented the framework of the next-step bank cleanup plan, and investors found little relief in the economic stimulus plan that is now awaiting a final vote in Congress.

On a much larger scale, economic leaders from the United States and other G-7 industrialized nations will meet this weekend, to brainstorm strategies to repair the global financial system.


Coca Cola

(KO) - Get Report

was buzzing after strong overseas sales helped it to beat estimates. Friday its rival, snack and beverage maker


(PEP) - Get Report

met expectations and its own guidance with its fourth-quarter results.

In other earnings, teen retailer

Abercrombie & Fitch


said fourth-quarter profit slid 68%, falling victim to asset impairment and tax costs, and that it will cut costs and not provide guidance for the year in light of the difficult environment.

Struggling automakers continue to make headlines, as


(TM) - Get Report

said Friday that it will

further scale back North American production, offer buyouts to 18,000 workers, and cut compensation for executives in the region by 30%.

Another company staying in the news,

Sirius XM

(SIRI) - Get Report

is now reportedly in talks with both satellite mogul Charles Ergen -- who controls

Dish Network

(DISH) - Get Report



(SATS) - Get Report

-- and rival Liberty Media.

Economic data to be released on Friday include the University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for February and the Economic Research Institute's weekly leading index for the week ended Feb. 6.

Thursday wielded an improvement in both January retail sales and initial jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 7, although the economists had expected a greater improvement in the latter.

The dollar was recently stronger against the yen, and weaker vs. the pound and euro.

In commodities, oil was rising 44 cents to 34.42 a barrel. Gold was falling $12.60 to $936.60 an ounce.

Longer-dated Treasuries were recently mixed; the 10-year note was recently down 15.5 to yield 2.8%, the 30-year was losing 1 25/32, yielding 3.6%.

Stocks were overseas were higher. In Europe, the FTSE in London and DAX in Frankfurt were recently rising 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended higher as well.