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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Wall Street Waits on Washington

This week, at least for the first half, Wall Street takes a rare back seat to Washington.

The focus on tomorrow's presidential election has put Wall Street into something of a holding pattern.

In the first 15 minutes of trading today, the Dow was up about 70 points.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both up, but just a handful of points.

Traders expect a quiet day, with no enthusiasm for a big rally. Right now, they're trying to figure out what a Democratic White House and Democratic Congress would do to them, a topic we'll get to later today.

In other news, the economic contraction continues:

- Circuit City is closing 155 of its more than 700 stores in an effort to return to profitability.

- And here's something else to worry about: Manufacturing in China, the world's producer of everything, slowed sharply in October thanks to weaker overseas demand from countries like, well, us.

- And, just to drive the point home, the National Association of Business Economists surveyed 102 top economists, and they agree: The recession will continue through all of next year.

--Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 3, 2008; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Next: Survey: U.S. Manufacturing at 26-Year Low

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