10 Feb 2009

Wall St flat ahead of bank rescue, stimulus plans

1:54 pm on 10 February 2009

US stocks ended little changed on Monday as markets awaited news on the fate of a massive economic stimulus package being considered by the US Congress as well as a financial recovery plan.

An announcement on the government's bank rescue plan from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was postponed by one day until Tuesday.

At the same time, the fate of the planned huge economic stimulus package through the Senate was still to be resolved. A version of the package has already been approved in the House of Representatives, without a single Republican vote.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.72 points, or 0.12%, to 8,270.87. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 1.29 points, or 0.15%, to 869.89.

The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.15%, or 0.01 percent, to 1,591.56.

Shares of leading soft drink makers Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo fell after broker downgrades and reductions on the companies' share price targets.

Further pressuring Coke was news that Australasian brewer Lion Nathan Ltd dropped a $US4.9 billion bid for Australian soft drinks company Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, whose main shareholder is Coca-Cola Co.