President Barack Obama, D-Ill. and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio moved closer toward a landmark debt deal late Thursday -- one that would avoid a U.S. default and implement major tax code changes, if approved. However, aides to both were lowering expectations, given the importance of the talks, so as to not jeopardize delicate negotiations within each caucus.
Fitch ratings agency declared Greece would be in temporary default as the result of a second bailout, which Athens said had bought it breathing space.
Factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region rebounded in July, but stubbornly high new filings for jobless benefits suggested an expected pick-up in economic growth in the second half of 2011 would be modest.
India is nearing the end of its credit tightening cycle, as 10 interest rate increases since March 2010 exact a toll on growth in a once-roaring economy, making Tuesday's expected rate rise potentially the last for the near future.
Growth ground to a halt in the euro zone's private sector this month while China's factory sector contracted for the first time in a year, surveys showed on Thursday, deepening evidence of a sharp slowdown in the global economy.
China's big trading partners worry that its rapid economic growth cannot be sustained and it could suffer a "hard landing" that spreads damage around the world, according to an IMF report released on Thursday.
New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, pointing to a labor market that is struggling to regain momentum after job growth faltered in the last two months.
The nuclear envoys of South and North Korea are expected to meet on the sidelines of an Asian forum in Bali on Friday in the first high level contact since tensions spiked on the Korean peninsula last year, a news report said.