Morning Brief: Tough sledding ahead
Top Story It was another brutal day in the markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 440 points Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei Average fell by 3.55 percent in Friday trading. Since Tuesday’s election, shares on Wall Street have declined nearly 10 percent as grim reports from automakers, retailers, and the IMF have indicated ...
It was another brutal day in the markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 440 points Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei Average fell by 3.55 percent in Friday trading. Since Tuesday’s election, shares on Wall Street have declined nearly 10 percent as grim reports from automakers, retailers, and the IMF have indicated that the global economy is far from hitting bottom.
More bad news is expected today as a host of government data, including the October jobs report, is due to be published.
Facing plunging sales, Detroit’s Big Three automakers are pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a bailout package. “They’re really in bad shape. Sales were bad when gas pieces were high, but now with the credit crunch and certainly what looks like a recession, consumer demand has really collapsed,” says Frank Langfitt of NPR. Ford alone lost nearly $3 billion in the third quarter.
Democrats are working on a $100 billion stimulus package, but economists expect rising U.S. unemployment regardless of what happens in Washington. “Superman couldn’t change what’s in store for the U.S. economy. It’s going to be ugly,” one analyst tells CNN.
U.S. Presidential Transition
After announcing Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, to mixed reviews, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama turned to the economy. He’s putting together an advisory board that includes such heavyweights as Warren Buffett, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker, and Eric Schmidt.
Mexicans remain suspicious about a plane crash that killed the country’s interior minister and 13 others. The government sees no foul play.
North Korea says it is “ready to deal” with the incoming Obama team.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged rich countries to give up their “unsustainable lifestyle” in the face of climate change.
A senior U.S. official tells the Financial Times that Chinese hackers infiltrated the White House e-mail system.
Middle East and Africa
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke with recent tradition and sent a congratulatory letter to Obama.
The United Nations and African leaders held an emergency meeting on how to contain the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Bank of England and the European Central Bank slashed interest rates.
The European Union ruled that Poland’s aid to its shipyards is unlawful.
Irish police seized a yacht with more than £500 million worth of cocaine.
President-elect Obama gives a press conference today at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Brussels is hosting an EU summit on financial reform.
South African political leader Jacob Zuma wants to “force” a power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe at this weekend’s regional summit.
Chart: The Wall Street Journal
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