Overseas Stocks Mixed
South Korea today announced an $11 billion fiscal stimulus plan in tax cuts and government spending on infrastructure. The news sent the Seoul Composite index up 1.4 percent. Other stocks in Asia were mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gaining 2.7 percent but Japan's Nikkei falling 5 percent.
In Europe, two of the UK's biggest banks, Lloyd's and HBOS, announced plans to raise $27 billion in new capital, backed by the government. Lloyd's, which agreed to acquire HBOS, plans to sell shares and HBOS plans to raise money from investors. If the banks are unable to raise the money, the government will buy them, reports said. Meanwhile, the European Commission confirmed the euro-zone -- led by a sharp downturn in the UK, Germany and France -- is in a recession and said that conditions would be grim through 2009. Stocks in Europe are flat so far.
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