CNBC Producer Robert Hum is filling in for Bob Pisani today.
Despite a lukewarm start Friday, stocks look to extend a 3-day winning streak today -- despite the Dow’s 240 point decline on Monday, the Dow is still up 0.75% (up 87 points) for the week.
Crude oil and natural gas futures are also up about 1.5% as Tropical Storm Gustav will likely be upgraded to a hurricane later today.
Overseas, India reported slower economic growth in Q2, but that was widely expected. Its growth of 7.9% was down from 9.2% in Q2 2007 and is now at its slowest pace since 2004.
Amid a stagnant economy and rising inflation, Japan’s government announced an $18 billion stimulus plan. With no announced tax breaks, however, this plan failed to impress many economists. The plan included proposals that ranged from expressway toll discounts to assistance to farmers and to part-time workers seeking jobs.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each climbed about 6% pre-open. This extends the momentum they have had during their 4-day winning streak. On the week, Freddie is up 88% and Fannie is up 59%.
Deal or no deal? Hedge funds and Huntsman family members propose to provide at least $500 million to help finance Hexion’s stalled $6.5 billion bid of Huntsman.
However, Hexion, the affiliate of the Apollo Management private equity group, still maintains that the proposal would still fail to improve the solvency of a combined company. It has been a contentious past few months for the two companies after Hexion dropped its July 2007 bid a few months ago, and a Huntsman lawsuit against Hexion ensued.
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