Economy begs priority from Obama

Greeted with the stock market’s worst two-day drop in 21 years, President-elect Barack Obama will take on voters’ No. 1 concern Friday by fielding questions about the nations economic turmoil in his first news conference since Election Day.

President-elect Barack Obama leaves a gym in Chicago on Thursday. He also was briefed on a range of national security issues and returned congratulatory calls to world leaders.

Above: LOW PROFILE: President-elect Barack Obama leaves a gym in Chicago on Thursday. He also was briefed on a range of national security issues and returned congratulatory calls to world leaders.

Mr. Obama, who spent part of Thursday being briefed by President Bush’s top intelligence officer and talking with nine world leaders, will hold a meeting with his transition team of 17 economic advisers, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and then publicly tackle bad financial news that has returned with a vengeance since his election Tuesday.

By Jon Ward and Christina Bellantoni
The Washington Times

On Thursday, reports of the worst month for retailers in 35 years triggered a 443-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that added to a nearly 500-point loss Wednesday to complete the worst two days for the Dow since 1987.

Retailers reported a “simply awful” month for sales in October and forecast a dismal 1 percent growth rate for the critical holiday season, during which most stores normally make about a quarter of their yearly sales.

Mr. Obama’s schedule was announced as he locked down his first major White House staff position when Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat and former senior adviser to President Clinton, agreed to become his chief of staff, and Mr. Bush vowed to help his successor navigate the transition of power.

In an emotional South Lawn address to executive branch employees, Mr. Bush warned that terrorists “would like nothing more than to exploit this period of change…

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/07/obama-faces-economy-early-days/

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