BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly lower today after Chinese manufacturing weakened while European markets rose in early trading after France endorsed Greek efforts to renegotiate bailout debt. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street. U.S. benchmark crude oil fell more than $1.25 to slip below $47 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and weakened against the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department will release two economic reports today. One deals with personal income and spending for December. The other involves construction spending in December. Also today, the Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index for January.
HONG KONG (AP) — Two reports show that Chinese manufacturing was anemic in January, adding to pressure on the government to roll out measures to boost the world's No. 2 economy. The final version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index released today edged up to 49.7 last month from 49.6 in December. Readings above 50 on the index's 100-point scale indicate expansion. The private survey comes a day after an official index found that factory activity fell to a 28-month low.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest battle of the federal budget is about to begin in earnest. President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $4 trillion proposal that seeks to raise taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations and use the extra income to lift less fortunate families. It would also ease the tight budget constraints of 2011. Congressional Republicans say Obama's plan is a non-starter and they pledge to achieve balance while attacking costly programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
PARIS (AP) — Greece's efforts to renegotiate debt for its huge bailout plan are getting some backing from France's Socialist government amid renewed fears about Europe's economic stability. Greece insists it wants to pay the money back, but wants new terms and new negotiating partners, arguing that it's not worth discussing with the technocrats from the so-called "troika" of creditors who set the original terms.