Investors are hoping the stock market will pick up steam on the last day of trading for the week. Concerns about slowing global economic growth and the threat of rising tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine held stocks down yesterday. The S&P 500 index fell 11 points. The Dow industrials dropped 75 and the Nasdaq fell closed down 20 points.
- There are two government reports due out today. The Labor Department will issue a preliminary estimate of U.S. company productivity and costs from the second quarter and the Commerce Department will release wholesale trade inventories for June.
- China's export growth accelerated in July but imports sagged in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. Data on Friday showed exports jumped 14.1 percent over a year earlier, almost double June's 7.2 percent growth. Imports fell 2.1 percent, down from the previous month's 5.5 percent growth. The stronger exports are a positive sign for Chinese leaders, who are counting on trade to help generate jobs while they try to nurture growth based on domestic consumption.
- Malaysia's state investment company says it wants to remove struggling Malaysia Airlines from the stock exchange, making it fully state-owned before a far-reaching overhaul of its business. Khazanah Nasional, which owns a majority stake in the carrier, says it plans to buy out minority shareholders at a premium to the airline's recent share price.
- General Motors is warning owners of certain older model SUVs to park the vehicles outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended. The SUVs were included in a handful of recalls GM announced in late June. The warning was included in recall-related documents posted online Wednesday by safety regulators. It's the third recall of the same vehicles in three years.