Wall Street Looks to Recover after Global Rout

NEW YORK - Wall Street looked to recover Tuesday from a huge sell-off the previous session, with investors hopeful that central banks around the world will cut interest rates to help alleviate turmoil in the credit markets.

Australia's central bank cut interest rates by the largest amount since 1992 in a surprise move, and that reignited hopes that others including the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank might follow. The move helped Asian markets, and later European bourses, rebound from a global rout in stocks on Monday.

Investors sent U.S. stock futures higher, but that's still not a sign that the intense volatility seen in the market in the past few weeks will subside. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 33, or 0.29 percent, to 9,997. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 10.00, or 0.95 percent, to 1,063.30, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 20.00, or 1.42 percent, to 1,426.50.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 closed 3.58 percent lower, responding to a turbulent session Monday on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrials skidded as much as 800 points before closing with a loss of 370.

But Europe markets rose in Tuesday's morning trading. In Britain, the FTSE-100 rose 1.26 percent, Germany's DAX added 0.04 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 1.54 percent.

Financial markets around the world have taken a bleak view of the global economy, believing that government bailouts including the $700 billion plan to rescue battered U.S. banks won't in the near term limit the damage to the banking systems of many countries.

Monday's sell-off put the Dow below 10,000 for the first time in four years, and that will likely bring some buyers into the market looking for bargains. Wall Street rallied in the final 90 minutes of trading Monday, with some of the buying driven by speculation that a rate cut was in the offing.

Both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet have speeches scheduled Tuesday, and the Fed is due to release minutes from the last interest-rate setting meeting.

Though not giving the market a rate cut that many traders have been clamoring for, the Fed has taken other steps to help unclog the credit markets.

Policymakers are currently working with the Treasury on a plan to buy commercial paper, the short-term financing mechanism that many companies rely on to fund day-to-day operations, according to a person with knowledge of the plan. The person asked not to be identified because the plan is still being put together.

Traders might get a better idea of what central bankers are thinking when the Fed releases minutes from its Sept. 16 meeting. Policymakers, who will meet again later this month, previously left its key interest rate unchanged at 2 percent.

Concerns about the credit markets still pushed investors into the relative safety of government debt. Investors moved into longer-term Treasury bonds, with the yield on the 10-year note fell to 3.52 percent from 3.58 percent late Monday.

However, speculation that the Fed might cut interest rates caused yields on shorter-term debt to rise. The yield on the three-month Treasury bill rebounded to 0.59 percent from 0.50 percent late Monday.

Demand for Treasurys remains high because of their safety; investors are willing to take extremely low returns just to have their money in a secure place.

Oil prices rebounded to near $90 Tuesday, a day after plunging to an eight-month low on concerns a global recession will undermine demand for crude. Light, sweet crude rose $3.03 to $90.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In corporate news, Bank of America Corp. is expected to fall after reporting late Monday that profit fell 68 percent during the third quarter. The bank also said it will raise $10 billion by issuing common stock and slashed its dividend.

Technology stocks got a boost after chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said it will spinoff its manufacturing businesses into a new joint venture with Abu Dhabi-backed Advanced Technology Investment Co. AMD said the deal will dramatically cut costs and allow it to better compete with chief rival Intel Corp.

Wall Street is also looking for Alcoa Inc. to unofficially kick off earnings season when it releases results after the closing bell. The company is expected to report a profit of 51 cents per share, down from 55 cents in the year-ago period.


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