Stocks were tentatively lower Tuesday as investors turned a watchful eye to Washington.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was recently down 26 points at 8244, and the
was falling 3 points to 866. The
also was off by 5 points at 1586.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is scheduled to present his overhaul of the bank bailout plan, a "comprehensive financial plan," on Tuesday. Two concepts, among others, that could be dealt with are a so-called "bad bank," a government/private-sector partnership to buy up toxic assets from struggling financial institutions, and the potential suspension of the mark-to-market rule.
On a larger scale, the Senate is expected to pass an $827 billion stimulus bill, which to this point has been hindered by partisan disagreements, also on Tuesday. Both the next-step bank bailout and the stimulus package have already been delayed from Monday.
Congressional leaders are aiming to have the bill prepared for President Barack Obama to sign before a recess next week.
Earnings season continues to wrap up, as Swiss banking giant
reported a $6.9 billion fourth-quarter loss and a $16.8 billion loss for 2008, and said its investment bank
will eliminate 2,000 more jobs by the end of the year.
In other corporate news, struggling American automaker
it will reduce salaried workers from 73,000 to 63,000 this year, with about 3,400 of those job cuts coming in the U.S.
ElsewhereTuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, and the Commerce Department will release a report on wholesale trade inventories.
In morning trading, crude oil was rising $2.05 to $41.61, while gold was up $21.10 to $913.90.
Longer-dated Treasuries were recently rising; the 10-year note was recently up 24/32 to yield 2.9%, the 30-year was adding 1 20/32, yielding 3.6%.
The dollar was recently stronger against the pound and euro, and weaker against the yen.
Stocks were mixed overseas. In Europe, the FTSE in London and DAX in Frankfurt were lower. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei lost ground, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed higher.