Current Futures: Dow -55.50, S&P -7.80, NASDAQ -8.50
European Trade: The European equity markets moved lower from the first minutes of trading, after the U.S. and the Asian markets traded mixed, unable to trend in a direction. Following closely the open spot markets, the U.S. futures also fell sharply overnight. 

Later today, the senate is expected to vote on the $838 billion Stimulus Plan. However, although it still needs the Senate’s seal of approval, President Obama said in a speech held last night that he is committed to expanding it and add new expenses. In addition, the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Timothy Geithner is expected today to announce new measures to help the financial system, but unlike in the past, these new bailouts would contain stricter regulations and conditions.

Asian markets were influenced by rumors that Russia will reschedule its corporate debt payments, as the country cannot cope anymore with a falling currency and with huge declines in the oil’s market. However, the Russian Government has denied these stories. The rumors stated that the banking lobby group would search for Governmental support to restructure $400 billion in corporate debt.

In the U.K., a report showed that house sales dropped to the lowest level since 1978 in the latest three months to January. A staggering majority of respondents said that house prices have fallen, and the only real inquires came from foreign bidders, helped by the recent plunge in the pound’s value. The U.K. Government has committed to help the housing market by accepting almost every mortgage request that comes thru its two new subsidiaries, RBS and HBOS. Even so, the number of people looking for new mortgages is now still at historical low levels, so this decision will not bring any relief in the short-run.

The U.K. Ftse lost 67.15 points (1.56%) to 4,240.46, while the German Dax declined 83.86 points (1.80%) to 4,582.96.

Crude oil traded mixed tonight. Crude oil for March delivery fell $0.20 to $39.50.

Gold headed higher in the Asian session, as some expect inflation to rise again. Bullion for immediate delivery rose $1.60 to $894.40.

Previous Asian trade: Tonight the Nikkei fell 23.09 points (0.29%) to 7,945.94. The Australian S&P/Asx slipped 19.90 points (0.57%) to 3,488.70.