Nov. 14, 2011 at 7:59 AM ET
By msnbc.com news services
Wall Street is set for a mixed open Monday, as debt-ridden Italy and Greece rush to form technocrat-led governments in a bid to stave of the euro zone’s financial crisis.
Stocks have traded choppily and in tandem with the euro recently in a sign U.S. investors are taking cues from the euro zone’s mushrooming debt crisis as bouts of risk aversion are followed by periods of relative optimism.
The president of Italy asked former European Commissioner Mario Monti Sunday to form a government to restore market confidence in an economy whose debt burden is too big for the euro bloc to bail out.
In Greece, new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, a former central banker who oversaw his country's entry to the euro zone in 2002, will have to win Wednesday's confidence vote in his cabinet before meeting euro zone finance ministers in Brussels Thursday.
Voicing the caution felt in the United States, investor Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, told CNBC it was not clear Europe has the ability to do whatever it takes to stop the crisis. He said it was too early to buy European sovereign debt or bank shares.
Tokyo's Nikkei gained 1.1 percent after data showed Japan's economy expanded 1.5 percent in the third quarter, the fastest growth among major industrial nations, as the country bounced back from an earthquake-triggered recession.
European stocks dropped more than 1 percent. Losses in Europe were briefly trimmed after an auction of up to 3 billion euros of five-year Italian bonds that underpinned hopes the country's new leader would start implementing reforms.
U.S. President Barack Obama served notice Sunday that the United States was fed up with China’s trade and currency practices as he turned up the heat on America’s biggest economic rival.
Morgan Stanley's Asia private equity arm is in talks to buy a majority stake in Chinese packaging firm HCP Holdings Inc, four sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The deal could value the company at about $500 million.
U.S. stocks jumped Friday, ending higher for the week after the Italian Senate’s approval of economic reforms gave investors some relief from worries about the euro zone’s debt crisis.
Reuters contributed to this report.