Bush, Sarkozy to meet as signs of recession mount
Evidence piled up on Friday that the world is slipping into recession but the White House played down expectations for a weekend meeting between lame-duck U.S. President George W. Bush and European Union leaders, reuters reported.
U.S. consumer confidence and new-home construction plummeted in recent weeks in further signs of economic slowdown. U.S. stock indices ended down on Friday despite better than expected earnings in the technology sector.
Bush, who leaves office in January after a November 4 election, said on Friday intervention by governments in the United States and Europe in the past week needed time to work.
The U.S. president played down expectations for Saturday's meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The Europeans have said they want the meeting to pave the way for talks on an overhaul of the global financial regulatory system.
Interbank lending rates fell this week for the first time since July providing some hope that the worst of the global banking crisis may have passed, but stock markets around the world remained volatile, weighed down by recession fears.
European shares ended higher and oil rose $2 a barrel, but a rise in the U.S. dollar was a sign of investors seeking safety.
Among benchmark U.S. stock indexes the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 127 points or 1.41 percent after trading in a 560 point range. The S& P500 index ended down 0.62 percent.
Adding to the gloom about the U.S. economy, a senior Federal Reserve policy maker said the jump in the U.S. jobless rate suggests the economy will likely slip into recession.