Bank stocks, usually a reliable economic indicator, stabilized in October as the Federal Reserve dispatched the blues with a pair of interest rate cuts and Japan belatedly came up with a serious bailout plan for its own banks.

But while markets have recovered, business conditions in the United States appear to be cooling, and some economists worry that Japan's plans could ultimately be a deflationary drag on the global economy.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.