Around the World's Markets: New York

BLUE-CHIP stocks were modestly lower at midday after an early jolt from US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's resignation. The news sparked a burst of selling in the dollar and in the US stock market, which has long seen Mr Rubin as one of the key guardians of US economic health.

By midday the shock had faded and the Dow was down 51 points, 0.46 per cent, at 10,975. Helping allay jitters was a confidence in the ability of Mr Rubin's expected successor, Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.