Jill Schlesinger: Pre-Market Watch

The Wall Street sign is juxtaposed against the sculpture on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday Oct. 3, 2008. Stocks surged while credit markets remained strained Friday ahead of an expected House vote on the government's $700 billion financial rescue plan and after Wells Fargo Co. agreed to buy Wachovia Corp. in a $15.1 billion deal. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) AP Photo/Richard Drew

The Wall Street sign is juxtaposed against the sculpture on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange
AP Photo/Richard Drew
It's probably a good day to sneak off early and head to the beach.

With little economic news on tap today, only hard-core traders are likely to stick around for Quadruple Witching, a quarterly event when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire.

The day sometimes can lead to market volatility, but in today's case, it's likely to be quiet, especially after yesterday's data download.

If you missed those reports, here's a quick recap:

Weekly jobless claims increased (bad); leading economic indicators increased (good); the Philadelphia Fed's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions plunged from 21.4 in May to 8 in June (very bad); and consumer prices remained subdued (good for consumers, not so good for companies, but probably good for investors, since Fed has ammo to keep interest rates low).

The bottom line was that U.S. stocks closed marginally higher; Asian were mixed, though Japan's Nikkei finished its best week in three months; and European stocks are trading higher, as the Euro maintains its recent gains. U.S. futures are drifting lower.

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    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.

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