Wednesday: Fed Meets Over Stimulus; Greece Suspends Airmail Due to Bombs

BY Larisa Epatko  November 3, 2010 at 9:35 AM EST


Policeman reports on controlled detonation of bomb outside German Embassy in Athens. Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is expected to meet Wednesday afternoon over plans to stimulate the economy, pushing stock futures up slightly as investors await the Fed’s moves.

Analysts predicted no major swings in trading over the outcome of the midterm elections, which saw Republicans take control of the House, and Democrats maintaining a slight majority in the Senate. (For the latest election news, visit The Morning Line.)

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 11 points to 11,163, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.80 point to 1,193.50, while the Nasdaq 100 index futures rose 1.50 points to 2,151.70, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Greece Halts Airmail After Bombs

Greece suspended all outgoing airmail for two days to screen more packages that might contain bombs after several were found in Athens, putting the city on edge.

The move followed the arrival of a bomb sent from Greece to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office, and more letter bombs found addressed to foreign embassies. Most of the devices were neutralized and only one person was injured.

Iraqi Parliament to Meet Over Government Stalemate

Iraq’s Parliament will reportedly meet Monday to elect a speaker in a move that might end the political stalemate following elections in March that yielded no clear winner.

The 325 lawmakers have met only once, on June 14, since they were elected on March 7. They should have chosen a parliament speaker during their first session and a president within 30 days, but the appointments were delayed as political officials met to try to negotiate the formation of a government.

Last month, Iraq’s federal Supreme Court ordered parliament back to work, calling the delay unconstitutional.

Bush Considered Taking Cheney Off ’04 Ticket

In a memoir set for release Nov. 9, former President George W. Bush said he considered dropping Dick Cheney as his running made in his 2004 run for re-election.

Mr. Bush said he wanted to dispel the notion that Cheney was the real decision-maker, but ultimately decided to keep him on the ticket.

“I hadn’t picked him to be a political asset; I had chosen him to help me do the job. That was exactly what he had done,” Mr. Bush wrote.

His book “Decision Points” from Crown Publishers offers reflections on major events during his presidency, including the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war.

He described having “a sickening feeling” over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and said “cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure of execution in the war,” the Associated Press reported.

Mount Merapi Erupts Again

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi spewed ash clouds six miles out in its largest eruption yet, forcing authorities to move refugee camps further from the mountain.

The blast was considered three times larger than the first eruption last week, which killed 38 people. No casualties were immediately reported following Wednesday’s eruption.