Daniel Gross

Morning Reading: Data Ahead of Jobs Plan

What to watch, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance's Elizabeth Trotta:

World stocks were mostly higher and U.S. futures are pointing toward a flat to higher open ahead of the latest round of economic data — jobless claims, the trade balance, oil inventories, and consumer credit — and President Obama's jobs plan.

*Obama will lay out the framework for a more than $300 billion stimulus plan in a highly anticipated joint session of Congress on jobs this evening.

* Britain's central bank left its key rate at 0.5%, with the possibility of restarting its quantitative easing program if conditions continue to deteriorate. The European Central Bank also kept its interest rate steady at 1.5% in light of the developing crisis, pausing efforts to increase rates.

*Senior politicians now talking openly about the possibility of Athens exiting the euro zone as Greece fails to meet fiscal targets that were conditions for its international bailout, Bloomberg reports.

*Fitch Ratings warned Thursday that it might downgrade China's credit rating within two years as banks struggle with debt loads following a lending surge used to buoy the economy during the financial crisis. It also said Japan could see a downgrade due to its heavy public debt and a political standstill.

Economic Data:

8:30 Initial Jobless Claims (prior 409K)

8:30 Trade Balance (prior -53.1B)

11 a.m. Crude Inventories (prior 5.281M)

1 p.m. Consumer Credit (prior $15.5B)

Early Headlines:

Obama to Challenge Republicans on Jobs

Greek backsliding sparks euro exit talk

Wall Street seen opening higher

Ahead of the Bell: Unemployment benefits

BOE May Mull More Stimulus on Market Strains

Fitch warns of downgrades for China, Japan

Oil below $89 after mixed US energy supply report

Moynihan Tries to Keep BofA Intact

Post 9/11 travel: What airport security costs us

Is national tax reform too big for debt super committee?

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