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SM: Futures Point to Flat Start
 
News at a Glance
Mixed Markets: Asia keeps falling, Europe mixed.
Even At Home: Stock futures point to flat start.
Fed Sked: Central bank lays out Q4 auctions.
Crude Comeback: Oil returns above $90 a barrel.


The Lowdown
A day after a global selloff, the world's market remained mixed and volatile, as governments tried to tamp down panic amid doubts of a successful rescue of the financial sector.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei continued its steep fall, dropping an additional 3.0%. Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng lost 5.0%. In Europe, the FTSE leaned positive, picking up 0.9% in afternoon trading. Germany's DAX lost ground.

In the U.S., stocks looked to open flat and mixed as traders licked their wounds and mulled the Federal Reserve's plan to pump more liquidity into the financial system. Shortly before 9 a.m., Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures were trading around fair value.

The Fed released its fourth-quarter schedule for auctions to help keep the nation's banks afloat. The auctions for short-term loans worth billions will allow banks to continue to function as they begin to work with the Treasury to offload their mortgage-related assets.

Later today, the Fed will release the minutes from its last meeting on the federal funds rate. The Fed's last statement on monetary policy acknowledged the current turmoil in the market but maintained its stance that the inflation outlook remains murky. The Fed's next policy meeting begins October 28.
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