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Stock Futures Point Down; New Attacks In Afghanistan, Pakistan

Aug 19, 2011

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Good morning.

After Thursday's sharp drops on Wall Street, lots of folks are wondering what's going to happen in the stock market today.

Well, according to Reuters: "Stock index futures pointed to a sharply weaker open for equities on Wall Street on Friday."

Translation: Expect a drop.

Markets fell earlier today in Asia and Europe. Gold has hit another record high, rising to nearly $1,820 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the other early-morning headlines include:

— "Attack On British Council Compound In Kabul Kills Nine": "Gunmen have stormed the British Council office in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing at least nine people and taking over the compound for hours. A suicide car bomb destroyed the compound wall and a number of heavily armed men forced their way inside. After several hours of gunfire and blasts, the U.K.'s ambassador in Kabul said all the gunmen had been killed. The Taliban said the attack marked the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from the UK in 1919." (BBC News)

— "Suicide Attack Kills 40 In Khyber Mosque Bombing": "Forty people were killed in a mosque bombing in northwest Pakistan, with 85 wounded, a government official said. Local administrator Fazal Khan said there's some evidence it was a suicide attack. Some 300 people were at the mosque for Friday prayers when the bomb exploded in the Ghundi village of Khyber tribal region." (Pakistan's DAWN)

— Rockets Fired Into Israel; Israeli Aircraft Hit Targets In Gaza: "Less than a day after coordinated terror attacks killed eight Israelis, Palestinian attacks on Israel continue as 10 Grad and Qasasm rockets were fired Friday morning at Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva and Kiryat Gat. Most of the rockets fell in open areas and did not cause damage or injuries, but one of the missiles hit a building in an Ashdod industrial park, wounding six people, one of them seriously. ... The Palestinian rocket fire followed an [Israeli Air Force] attack on the Gaza Strip overnight which came in response to the coordinated terror attacks on Israel that took place on Thursday afternoon." (Israel's Haaretz)

— "Bank Of America To Eliminate 3,500 Jobs": "Bank of America Corp. has begun eliminating 3,500 jobs companywide [about 1 percent of its workforce] ahead of further cuts that are expected to come this fall. The reductions come as Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan is working to cut expenses to boost profitability and build capital as the Charlotte bank continues to wrestle with mortgage-related losses. The bank's shares are down about 47 percent this year." (Charlotte Observer)

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