7:24am

Fri August 12, 2011
The Two-Way

Markets Up In Europe; Signs Point To 'Weaker Open' On Wall Street

Good morning.

There's word from Europe this morning, as Bloomberg News reports, that stock markets there are rising. In Asia earlier today, "markets ended mostly higher but pared their early gains," The Wall Street Journal writes, "as investors remained cautious amid this week's turmoil ... while losses for auto makers and computer-chip producers sent Tokyo and Seoul into the red."

So what's the day going to be like on Wall Street, where there have now been an unprecedented four straight days of 400-point-plus swings? According to Reuters, "U.S. stock index futures pointed to a weaker open."

As for other stories making headlines this morning, they include:

-- London's Police Chief Fires Back At Critics Of Riot Response: "The officer at the helm of the Metropolitan police this morning took a swipe at the government's criticism of his force's handling of the riots." Tim Godwin, acting commissioner, said that his officers showed "great restraint as well as great courage" and "were able to nip this in the bud after a few days." (The Guardian)

Related report: "Police say they have arrested 1,051 people in London over Britain's deadly riots, and 591 have been charged. More than 1,500 people have been arrested nationwide." (The Associated Press)

-- "Postal Service Proposes Cutting 120,000 Jobs, Pulling Out Of Health-Care Plan": "The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut its workforce by 20 percent and to withdraw from the federal health and retirement plans because it believes it could provide benefits at a lower cost." (The Washington Post)

-- Bachmann And Pawlenty Rumble At GOP Debate: Last night in Ames, Iowa, "instead of directing their attacks at [former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney, the other candidates on the stage went after each other, with the two Minnesotans, Rep. Michele Bachmann and the state's former governor, Tim Pawlenty, providing much of the night's fireworks." (It's All Politics)

Related report: The "intense sparring" between Bachmann and Pawlenty had largely been absent from the two previous Republican debates, NPR's Don Gonyea reported on Morning Edition. The night's other notable moments included a pledge from all eight candidates to reject tax hikes as a way to deal with deficits, Don reports.

Related headline: "Candidates Sharpen Attacks On Each Other." (The Des Moines Register)

Iowa Republicans hold their much-hyped "straw poll" on Saturday.

The other candidates on stage at Thursday's debate: business executive Herman Cain; Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman; Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

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