In Canada, the TSE 300 did not like the combination of an extremely weak retail sales data and the upside surprised PPI report. Nor did it like the anthrax scare in New York City. Many investors also assumed a defensive posture in light of the FBI warning of possible security threats. But the market also showed some evidence of hope that economic conditions may have stablized. High profile name Juniper Networks reported earnings after the bell on Thursday that beat the Street's estimates. Moreover, the tech firm provided optimistic fourth quarter sales projections -- a rare event in the current environment.
European markets were mixed. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was down 19.40 points, or 0.38%, to 5,145.50, amid profit taking. In France, the CAC 40 added 6.20 points, or 0.14%, to 4,336.88. In Germany, the DAX Index was down 93.33 points, or 1.98%, to 4,625.13, as retail sales rose less than expected in August.
In Asia, the markets ended mixed. The Nikkei surged 285.34 points, or 2.76%, to 10,632.35, aided by U.S. investors appetite for equities on Thursday. Overall, the bourse closed the four-day week up 4.2%. In Hong Kong, the market lost 248.48 points, or 2.36%, to 10,274.13.