It's the last day of trading for the week and investors are hoping that yesterday's stock market uptick will continue. Positive news on jobs and the economy yesterday outweighed worries about a potential federal government shutdown. The S&P 500 index rose six points, snapping its longest losing streak of the year. The Dow climbed 55 points, and the Nasdaq rose 26. Based on futures trading, Wall Street appears headed for a lower opening.
- International stock markets drifted today, with markets in China edging slightly higher as investors stayed cautious ahead of a major holiday and details from the highly anticipated unveiling of a free trade zone in Shanghai. Stocks in Tokyo slid after Japan's inflation spiked. Early European trading was lower. The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen. Benchmark crude oil fell below $103 per barrel.
- There's not much in the way of major economic news anticipated today. But traders will be trying to gauge the health of the American consumer when the government releases its data on personal income and spending for August. Forecast is that spending rose 0.3 percent after rising 0.1 percent in July. Income is expected to be up 0.3 percent after rising 0.1 percent in July.
- A research group funded by the insurance industry says seven midsize vehicles earned the top rating in a test of high-tech safety features designed to prevent front-end collisions. The Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60 and XC60 won "superior" ratings in tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Japan still has no nuclear reactors back online but Tokyo Electric Power Co. is requesting safety inspections on two it wants to fire up, despite concerns over how it has handled the catastrophe at the Fukushima plant. All of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors are offline while regulators consider restarts under safety rules revised after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.