Financial Roundup: Nation Awaits Presidential Election; Has Market Put its Scariest Days Behind?

While the nation awaits the results of Tuesday’s presidential election, the financial world continues to hold its breath to see what is going to happen. Wall Street’s steep gains in the final days of October are leaving some investors optimistic that the market has put its scariest days behind it, but they’re still wary about the landmines that could send stocks reeling again, according to MSNBC. Tuesday’s presidential election could help erase some unknowns over how the power structure in Washington will affect investors, but pressing economic questions could ultimately shape the week. Reports due on manufacturing, the service sector and, most important, employment, could determine whether the market stays above its mid-October lows and holds on to some stability or plumbs new depths, MSNBC reported. According to the New York Times, the Treasury Department turned down a request by General Motors for up to $10 billion to help finance the automaker’s possible merger with Chrysler. Treasury officials were said to be reluctant to broaden the $700 billion financial rescue program to include industrial companies or to play a part in a G.M.-Chrysler merger. Sunday evening, stock index futures signaled a moderately lower open. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 31, or 0.33 percent, to 9,267. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 4.30, or 0.44 percent, to 963.00 and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 4.00, or 0.30 percent, to 1,333. The market’s volatility in September and October, however, has made futures a less reliable indicator of how the market will indeed open. And, the hits keep on coming as private equity titan Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is delaying its plan to go public until 2009 amid the credit crisis and turbulence in financial markets, according to CNNMoney. KKR, which plans to convert to a public company by taking over the Amsterdam-listed buyout fund it created in 2006, won’t complete the transaction until next year, delaying its plans to go public by the end of this year, according to Bloomberg.com. The delay follows a slowdown in the global economy and a slump in financial markets following the Sept. 15 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. KKR Private Equity said markets deteriorated further in October, after reporting a $649 million drop in the value of investments in the preceding three months.