Before the Bell: Buffett’s ball
There’s nothing like a belle to bring a festive mood to an otherwise gloomy ball, and today that honor belongs to Goldman Sachs, which has drawn attention – and money – from none other than Warren Buffett.
Stock futures are pointing up on news of the uber-investor’s plan to purchase a $5 billion stake in the bank. And Japanese media say that Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is also looking to buy in.
But the fate of the Wall Street bailout plan remains the $700 billion question. Congress is continuing discussions today, with Fed chief Ben Bernanke testifying before the House Financial Services Committee.
At the same time, CNN is reporting that the FBI is investigating potential mortgage fraud at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and American International Group – the very companies at the heart of this financial services meltdown.
Oil prices are up ahead of weekly data expected to show the fifth consecutive decline in U.S. crude inventories.
The dollar is down against an index of major currencies. Longer-term U.S. Treasuries are higher.
On a light day for economic reports, we’ve got existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors.
And while we’re on the subject of the housing slump, home-improvement chain Lowe’s says it’s cutting store openings for its next fiscal year.
- Lisa Von Ahn